We are so grateful to have been invited back to Saik’uz this year for a Wellness Clinic in May. We would like to thank the community for opening their doors to us and bringing in their pets for their annual health check. 49 dog owners and 10 cat owners brought in their companion animals to make sure they would stay healthy. What a great way to show their love for their pets!
We were also asked to find homes for 5 dogs whose family were not able to keep them. A loving and difficult decision to make.
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We had the opportunity to meet with the newly elected Chief and Band Council while we were in Saik’uz. They taught us that the Saik’uz language name for dog means “Closer to the Spirit”. Their ancestors used dog hides to make their drums, so when drumming, they were “Closer to the Spirit”. And in the Spring, there is a man in the moon, and a dog is in front of him. And in the Fall, the dog is behind him. And the name for horses are “bigger dogs”. We were all fascinated listening to their cultural stories. What an honour to have this shared with us.
The Chief and Band Council are a committed group, and we thank them for spending time with us to share what Spirit’s Mission does and the goals we have jointly met. What a powerful group of women! We are excited, moving forward, on the potential this community has.
When we started working with Saik’uz four years ago, we wanted to partner with them to provide regular health care for companion animals, including a spay and neuter clinic. We can happily say our partnership has done that, plus met the following goals during this time:
- We have touched the lives of 224 animals since then, in health care and relocating those in need. Our partner vets also continue to provide sterilizations during the year when Spirit’s Mission volunteers are not at Saik’uz.
- We have found new homes for the animals that don’t have one, are abandoned, or whose families can no longer care for them.
- We assisted the community in setting up an emergency food bank for animals when their families cannot afford food.
- We jointly helped animals that were badly injured, sick or were not able to be cared for.
- We have been welcomed to continue to provide humane education to the youth in the community.
Now those are goals met that we can all be proud of!
Special thanks to Saik’uz First Nations; Dr. Cori Stephen, Dr. Aleta Schmah and Dr. Sylvia Hall Andrews. Did you know these amazing vets do these clinics at no charge? They donate their time to save lives.
Also thanks to volunteers Kerri-Lynne Wilson, Madeleine Layton, Christina Pommelet, Valerie Ingram, Willow Eyford, Debbie Knakbe and Penny Stone, who all took time from work and their families to give their time for the animals of Saik’uz. And to Nechako Valley Animal Health Services, Petroglyth Animal Hospital, Crooked Lake Ranch, Lakes Animal Friendship Society and Victoria Humane Society for educating, caring, fostering and adopting animals to furever homes.
Our next focus is on raising funds to continue our work. Check out our Facebook Page for all the latest events, including the dates of our three upcoming Paint Nite fundraisers happening in Nanaimo, Vernon and Falkland this summer. We will also be at the Cedar Flea Market and Swap Meet on August 24, so please come by to say hello!
Let’s keep moving forward!