In 2014, Trupanion members donated over $104,000 to nonprofit animal welfare organizations across the United States and Canada. We’re now asking you to vote for the next nonprofits we should support. Vote through the online poll at Trupanion.com/trugiving. Voting ends May 14, 2015.
Over the next few weeks we will introduce you to the nonprofits featured in our poll. We’re kicking off the nonprofit series with an incredible Canadian nonprofit, the Canadian Animal Assistance Team (CAAT)!
CAAT is a registered group of veterinary technologists, veterinary assistants, veterinarians and people passionate about animal welfare, dedicated to providing veterinary medicine and humane education in support of needy animals worldwide. CAAT’s primary focus is on running Animal Health Care Projects in low-income communities with limited or no access to veterinary services for their animals.
We asked Chris Robinson, executive director of The Canadian Animal Assistance Team, how extra funding from Trupanion members would help benefit CAAT and all of the animals they help. Below is what he shared with us.
“In the vast majority of Canadian communities it is unusual to have pets that have not been spayed or neutered or have not had regular vaccinations and basic health care. In fact, for most of us, it is difficult to imagine having little or no access to health care for our pets. However, there are countless pet owners in communities in Canada where this is the reality. These communities are full of pet owners with dogs and cats that are not sterilized, not vaccinated, and do not have access to minimal health care. They are either in very remote locations without access or the owners are unable to afford to travel to a veterinary clinic or pay for the services.
The common issue in these communities is an overwhelming number of dogs and cats. The overpopulation issues result in malnourished and unhealthy animals due to limited resources, lack of shelter, and challenge from other animals. Even the pets with homes struggle with disease and repeated pregnancies due to a lack of basic health care.
Some communities work with local animal rescue groups to re-home some of the unwanted animals. The reality is the supply of dogs and cats in need of homes is often overwhelming. The key is to prevent the pregnancies and provide basic health care and that is the mission of the Canadian Animal Assistance Team (CAAT).
The CAAT sends in veterinary teams that volunteer their time and expertise to provide much needed services locally. CAAT sets up a temporary clinic right in the host community and provides spay/neuter and vaccination services at no cost. Providing these services assists the animals and dramatically reduces the need for rehoming unwanted animals.
An example of our work is in the Lake Babine Nation Reserve, near the community of Burns Lake in British Columbia. When we began our work there, the community was in “crisis mode.” Over the course of four years of annual projects, the statistics showed a significant change. We completed over 600 spay/neuter surgeries, bringing the estimated percentage of sterilized animals to 73%. The surrenders to the local shelter have decreased by 50% and the impoundment statistics to the town have decreased by 75%. They are now able to keep things under control locally through a new spay/neuter initiative. The pets are healthier and the owners are much more knowledgeable about basic animal care needs.
In 2015, CAAT will be providing animal health services in eight different First Nations communities. Our team members pay their way to the communities to provide their services at no cost. However, every clinic requires funding for medical and surgical supplies and humane education materials. You can make a difference in animal’s lives. The funds from the Member Donations in Trupanion’s TruGiving program will help provide vaccinations and spay or neuter surgeries to the animals in crisis.”
For more information, visit www.caat-canada.org and CAAT’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/CAAT.Canada to see pictures of past Clinics and learn more about their work.
For more information about Trupanion’s Shelter Support Program to help pets in need have a happy, healthy start in their new forever homes visit Trupanion.com/shelter.