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Why we focus on the Indigenous Community

Most Indigenous people know dogs were living within their nation pre-European contact. However, today those dogs are gone and replaced with dogs that are foreign to this land. Today’s dogs were changed, through breeding, in other areas of the world for specific purposes. Dachshunds were bred in Germany to go into holes and kill badgers, foxes, and other pests; Karelian Bear Dogs were developed in Finland to hunt bears; Rottweilers and Dobermans were used as guard dogs by Nazi Germany; Siberian Huskies and Norwegian Elkhounds were bred in Northern Europe to pull sleds in the snow; and the list goes on. When dogs were changed through selective breeding, they also lost their ability to live in the wild and control their population. Today’s dogs are a man-made problem imported into Indigenous communities.

- © Christian Aboriginal Infrastructure Developments


Indigenous communities have expressed serious public health concerns regarding out-of-control dog populations. Dog overpopulation negatively impacts community public health through dog bites, pack aggression, mauling deaths, zoonotic disease transmission2, and animal suffering. Neglecting dog populations and their derivative problems have a negative psychological impact on children and are linked to subsequent violent offences within a community. Indigenous communities should not be held hostage by dogs, and children should not have to suffer bite wounds or mauling deaths from dogs at rates over 100 times higher than the rest of Canada. These dog-related public health crises are a direct result of the lack of veterinary infrastructure services for Indigenous communities.

- © Christian Aboriginal Infrastructure Developments

  • Bites, Pack Aggression, and Mauling Deaths:

    • ​on-reserve dog bites incidents 20-200 times above those in the rest of Canada. Dog bites and mauling deaths are a public health crisis in progress

  • Unnecessary dog suffering and increased willful and neglectful acts of cruelty

    • ​Health Canada will also not fund pilot projects to develop fundable programs for dog-related public health solutions.

  • Zoonotic disease transmission

    • ​Each community’s dog population forms a barrier between its citizens and rabies-infected wildlife. If 70% or more of a community’s dogs are vaccinated against rabies, the community will be protected from a rabies outbreak.

  • “Federal” Indigenous communities, in general, are not serviced by “provincial” veterinary and public health services

  • Indigenous communities are not permitted to own or operate veterinary facilities in most provinces and territories;

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