In the early morning as the sun begins to rise over the hillside, you can drive down any desert road in the small towns that make up Tribal Lands. Trailer homes sparsely scattered throughout a seemingly deserted part of our country. At first glance there is not a person in site, but if you look closely, the animals that inhabit these towns make their morning appearance. Under porches lie newborn puppies who managed to make it through another freezing night. At the gas station gathers a pack of dogs claiming their space in hopes to get scraps from travelers quickly stopping through. Behind the houses you see a single, pregnant mom chained to a tree with an empty water bowl at her feet. In the near distance you will find a pack of males chasing an in-heat female for miles as she tries everything in her power to make an escape. On the sides of the road you find dogs and cats alike who lie helpless after a run in with a vehicle the night before. This is “The Rez”, and this is the reality.
The Greater Four Corners Region is home to a few hundred thousands stray animals. With limited to no access to care, many of the animals that inhabit these areas reproduce daily by the hundreds. As a result, the stray population has exploded over the decades.
A healthy female dog can have up to two litters per year with about 4-6 puppies in each litter. If this female has even 10 litters in her lifetime, that is still 60 unwanted puppies born into a world unfit to care for them. The ones who don’t pass from the harsh elements of the desert, the fatal viruses that swarm these areas, or the cars that hit them after they stray too far from their litter; will go on to produce litters of their own making the original number of 60 quickly rise to the thousands with each litter born. With this, it is no surprise that there are hundreds of thousands of stray animals roaming these sacred lands. The people are hungry for support, are eager to be understood, and like pet owners everywhere, truly do want the best for their animals. This is where we knew we could be of assistance. Through collaborative based efforts, we hope to bring the assistance that many people long for. While there may not be consistent access to care, our goal is to provide spay and neuter services, along with other basic Veterinary needs, to the small towns that are often overlooked.
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