Free spay and neutering clinics for dogs will be held at the fire halls in Nemaska and Waskaganish the first week of December. They are being put on by The International Fund for Animal Welfare and The World Society for the Protection of Animals.

Representatives of the two groups were in Waswanipi, Ouje Bougoumou and Mistissini last January holding workshops on more humane methods of dog control. This round of clinics is designed to reduce the number of unwanted dogs in the communities in the future. Many of these stray dogs are sick or injured, cold and hungry. As a result, they end up attacking people.

Spaying is a simple surgery that removes the female reproductive organs; while neutering is the removal of the male testicles. The dog is put under anaesthetic for the procedure and recovers within a week. Pain is usually minimal. It is considered an effective and humane method for controlling the dog population.

There are many other benefits to spaying and neutering your dogs: it helps them live longer, healthier lives; it prevents some kinds of cancers; it makes pets better, more affectionate companions; spaying a dog eliminates her heat cycle, thereby not staining carpets and furniture; neutering makes dogs less likely to roam the neighbourhood, run away, get into fights with other dogs and attack people; it reduces the number of homeless dogs that get into trash containers, defecate in public areas or on private lawns, frighten people and scare away or kill birds and wildlife.

The procedure does not affect a dog’s natural instinct to protect the home and family, or to hunt. Call your local fire hall in Namaska or Waskaganish for further information.