(SANDY LAKE FIRST NATION, ON) – Many residents of Sandy Lake First Nation are very upset that the wild dog population has gotten to “alarming levels”, which has resulted in children and others to be at risk of being attacked when they are outside.
CLARITY – Photo of culled dogs not from Sandy Lake First Nation but from a community in Saskatchewan and is being used for illustration purposes. It is important for the public to understand what a “culling of dogs” looks like.
We have been told that children have been attacked by hungry wild dogs. The call for a “Culling of dogs” was not made hastefully we have been told. The Chief and Council of Sandy Lake First Nation invited and urged two separate dog rescues to come out to Sandy Lake First Nation and address the dangerous issue in early December of 2018.
What we have been told was that the dog rescue responsible for coming to remove dogs from the First Nation had a death in the family of one of the leaders, which unfortunately resulted in a laggy response to the First Nations ask for help. Once the “Culling of dogs” was ordered, and our previous article went viral, the dog rescue quickly stepped up and started to organize the dogs being removed from the First Nation.
During this time, TRCCTB.COM was contacted by numerous residents of Sandy Lake First Nation who spoke out in anonymity, due to the backlash they would receive for speaking out about the dog issue. We have been told it is frowned upon in many First Nations to speak about internal issues publicly.
What we have been told is that 95% of the population in Sandy Lake First Nation are responsible dog owners, they maintain their dogs health both mentally and physically. But there are a small batch of highly irresponsible owners who will get a puppy and not take very good care of the animal, and when this results in the dog nipping at one of their children or them, they set the dog loose outside and refuse to allow it back into the house. This results in the start of a wild dog problem. There are other reasons why dogs become wild, but this was the one reason we were told over and over again by numerous people that live in Sandy Lake First Nation.
Some of the people that set their dogs loose, and refuse to allow them back in, will then get another puppy and the cycle continues. The wild dog population quickly grows out of control to the point that the dogs form wild packs, and become highly aggressive, especially when hungry. This is when children and others are put at risk.
We have been told that the “culling of dogs” was called off when the dog rescue organized the dogs to be removed after our previous article went viral. Shockingly, numerous sources in Sandy Lake First Nation have told us that they feel let down by the dog rescue, as it is believed they have asked residents of the First Nation to “shoot the vicious dogs as they cannot be rehomed”. As far as we know, nobody has taken up the offer to slaughter the dogs for the dog rescue, although there was one man said to be ready to engage in the culling previous to this.
Since our previous article about the culling, numerous dog rescues from across Canada have reached out to TRCCTB.COM and offered to remove ALL the unwanted dogs, including the vicious ones. We have been asked to urge any dog rescues that can handle the vicious dogs being rescued and rehomed, to please contact Chief and Council of Sandy Lake First Nation at the telephone number written on the document posted above and below. Be fair warned you may need to call numerous times, as we have had no luck getting someone to answer ourselves.
A resident of Sandy Lake First Nation has told us that the current Chief was just recently elected and has been doing amazing work for the area. It is believed that the Chief and Council is expected to pass a new BCR which will bring restrictions and rules to follow when owning a dog, to help prevent and mitigate the possibility of the dog population getting out of control again.
The massive majority of dog owners in Sandy Lake First Nation are excellent caretakers of their dogs and are responsible. Unfortunately the few bad apples appear to be causing the issue.
A few years ago, a northern community had a similar issue that went unchecked and help from area dog rescues was lacking which resulted in a young child being mauled by a pack of wild dogs. Numerous other First Nations communities have no other choice but to order a culling to restore the safety in their streets for children when the dog population goes out of control. Hopefully, the expected new restrictions and rules in Sandy Lake First Nation will be effective and set an example of how to prevent the issue for others.
30 dogs were removed from Sandy Lake First Nation on February 16th, with a number of dogs still left behind is what we have been told. Rough estimates from residents that live in Sandy Lake First Nation have told us that there were roughly 60-100 wild dogs. We were not able to confirm if another day has been set aside for the rescue of the remaining dogs, but we have been told that the rescue will be available to return when needed.
Anyone from Sandy Lake First Nation who has more information to provide, please reach out to us and share your story.
The culling of dogs statement that was ordered by Sandy Lake First Nation on February 1st, 2019 is below:
(Photo of culled dogs not from Sandy Lake First Nation but from a community in Saskatchewan and is being used for illustration purposes.)
Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.