manitoulin island, ontario SPCA, OSPCA, Wikwemikong, Wiky Rez Dogs

Volunteering at the Wikwemikong First Nation pet wellness clinic

Earlier this fall, one of our Ontario SPCA Provincial office staff had the amazing opportunity of volunteering alongside the community members of the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, Welland and District SPCA, Wiky Rez Dog Rescue volunteers, and the Ontario SPCA for a wellness and spay/neuter clinic on the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve on Manitoulin Island. Here is Taryn’s story.

Working with the mobile clinic on Wikwemikong

Taryn says the Welland and District SPCA has a long working relationship with Wikwemikong through the Wiky Rez Dog volunteers. She says this was the third wellness and spay/neuter clinic they had done with the community, and the second she had attended.

manitoulin island, ontario SPCA, OSPCA, Wikwemikong, Wiky Rez Dogs
Wellness and spay/neuter clinic team on the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve on Manitoulin Island.

This year, Taryn says is the first year the Wiky Rez Dog Rescue volunteers reached out to six other First Nation communities to be involved in the spay/neuter clinic. The clinic is set up at the community arena in the community of Wikwemikong , she says, with the mobile surgical unit outside and the wellness clinic inside. She says all animal records stay at the veterinary clinic on the island, so if owners ever need their pet’s medical records, they can get them from the veterinarian there.

Taryn says the wellness clinic is where people bring animals to get up to date on vaccines, including rabies, and microchipping.

“Being my second year it was really great to see some familiar faces coming back into the clinic. I remember some of the community members who came in last year to have their pets spay or neutered and a year later they were back at the wellness clinic for their check up.”  she says.

Having very little experience with clinics like this, Taryn says she was impressed by how the team welcomed her and taught her the ropes. She says she was quickly shown what needed to be done and how to do it.

“I love working with the mobile team, they’re amazing people and they’re very inviting of new people,” she says.

Volunteering at the clinic is always a good experience, she says, because it’s rewarding to work on the ground, see the gratefulness of the community, and the impact of the work they’re doing.

“Someone just drove in to say thanks, and tell us what a difference they’ve seen in their community,” she says.

Overall, Taryn says she would encourage everyone  to volunteer to help with a wellness and spay/neuter clinic in the north.

“You get to know all different people from different organizations from different communities, and you spend so much time with them, that by the end of the week it’s been so fun you don’t want to say goodbye,” she says.

Nov 15, 2017
by Emily Cook