Working together to reduce animal overpopulation in Curve Lake First Nation

by | Happy Tails Interesting Northern projects |

When Melinda Taylor’s grandfather passed away, she knew she had big shoes to fill to continue his legacy of helping animals in the community. 

“My Grandpa used to feed the cats in the community at his house and when he passed, we knew we had to continue feeding them,” says Melinda. But then the group kept growing and growing, with more and more kittens appearing.

In many communities across Canada, particularly remote Northern communities where there is a lack of basic animal wellness services such as spay/neuter, animal overpopulation is a challenge. 

In Melinda’s community of Curve Lake First Nation, located approximately 25 kilometres northeast of Peterborough, there is approximately 1,500 people and an estimated 1,000 cats. 

“We started fundraising and I approached the Lakefield Animal Welfare Society who started helping with spaying and neutering,” says Melinda. “We were able to catch them and then release them back once they recovered.”

In late 2021, Curve Lake First Nation welcomed the SPCA Mobile Animal Wellness Services unit to the community as part of a one-health model to ensure healthy communities for animals and people. 

“On the day the SPCA Mobile Animal Wellness Services unit rolled into Curve Lake First Nation, Melinda was just beaming as she snapped photos outside the unit,” says Bonnie Bishop, Associate Director with the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society. “She was excited about the impact the mobile unit would have on animal overpopulation in her community.”

For Melinda, her work to reduce animal overpopulation stems from a deep love and appreciation for all animals.

“I don’t like to see anything suffering or not having a family to love them,” says Melinda. “If I could, I would buy land, make shelters for all the neglected animals and let them live their days there, happy and free.” 

Melinda stresses that it takes a team effort to make a difference for animals.

“I’m not the only one in Curve Lake that does this,” says Melinda. “There are luckily many others that would be willing to do anything for these animals, like I am. My family first helped me, then the community and organizations like Lakefield Animal Welfare Society, Operation Catnip and Ontario SPCA have come to help as well.”

Ensuring more communities have access to the SPCA Mobile Animal Wellness Services unit requires your support. Please help us fund this important service by making a donation. Visit to learn more and make a gift today.

Curve Lake      Overpopulation