Caring for Our Four-Legged Friends
October 4 was World Animal Day, which prompted us to reflect on the animals we care for with our reservation partners. For centuries, dogs have played an important role within many Native American cultures. Their responsibilities included hunting, guarding, even pulling travois (sleds) and these valued animals were an integral member of the tribe.
Today, Native American people continue to love and value their dogs and cats as much as you do. However, many tribal communities often lack the resources needed to manage the overpopulation of stray dogs and cats and care for orphaned animals on the reservation. According to one estimate, the Navajo Nation alone has as many as 6,000 stray dogs and cats roaming their tribal lands, and other reservations face a similar challenge.
Many animal welfare donors, such as Phyllis Deal of New Jersey, feel a strong connection to the animals themselves. “I love animals, and it was difficult to see miles and miles of nothing on the Navajo Reservation, and then to see the animals living in conditions that just break your heart,” says Phyllis. “They need us. They cannot create better situations for themselves. So it’s important that we do what we can to help.”
Ensuring the well-being of animals not only protects the animal itself—it supports healthy, safe communities as well. That is why Partnership With Native Americans actively works with animal caregivers on the reservations, providing food, leashes, collars and bowls to address the immediate needs of overpopulation and strays. We also help fund mobile spay and neuter clinics, essential vaccinations, rehabilitation of orphaned animals, all to support placement of animals into foster care or adoption into loving, forever homes—where they belong!
“As a child, I had a puppy, and animals just have to be in my life. Animals make life better for everyone,” says donor Joyce Dobbert. “I support PWNA’s reservation animal rescue program because they relieve the suffering of animals, plain and simple.” Through our 25-years of continuous service, PWNA is proud to have supported the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of 182,000 animals in foster or forever homes.
If you are like Phyllis and Joyce and feel a similar connection to the work we’re doing with animals, we encourage you to participate in our 100-day supply drive before November 6, 2015. Collars and leashes are the most critical items needed at this time to further #NativePartnerHope.