‘Deadly Dogs On Reserves’

“Quebec provincial police are investigating after a one-year-old boy was found dead and covered in bite marks in the Nunavik community of Kangiqsujuaq, Que. Early evidence suggests the baby was mauled by dogs near his home.

“A spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec says the infant was found dead June 29 on his neighbour’s land. His body was surrounded by dogs…

“Kangiqsujuaq, a community of roughly 750, is located on the Hudson Strait.”

–‘Nunavik infant found dead after apparent dog attack’,
CBC News, July 05, 2019

Reserve Dogs (Todd Korol – National Post)

“An Alberta ‘First Nation’ {aboriginal community} that brought in laws to deal with packs of feral dogs says the strategy could be used on other reserves across the country that are struggling with their canine population.

“Josh Littlechild, the Tribal Law Officer of Ermineskin Cree ‘Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 4,874 people} south of Edmonton, outlined the steps the reserve took two years ago at the National Animal Welfare Conference on Monday.

“We were having a few issues where dogs were getting aggressive toward our members”,
Littlechild said.

“Now, the reserve requires registrations, and owners to meet a standard of animal care.

“We also have a dangerous dog provision”,
he said.
“It kind of addresses the whole gamut…”

“Dogs running loose are common on reserves, particularly in northern areas. Their presence can be fatal.

“Last May, Donnelly Rose Eaglestick of Little Grand Rapids ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 1,746 people} in Manitoba, was found dead after an animal attack at a construction site. Her body was surrounded by dozens of dogs…”

–‘Stray dog problems on First Nations could be reduced by bands passing laws’,
Bill Graveland, Canadian Press, Apr. 23, 2018

Reserve Dogs (CBC)

“Nobody is tying them up or feeding their own animals”,
she said.
“They don’t bother taking care of them. They let them go loose and wild.”

“The death of a nine-year-old boy torn apart by dogs on a north Saskatchewan native reserve Saturday has highlighted a growing danger — wild dog packs that roam many northern communities.

“The child — Keith Iron-Cheekosis — was found dead in the snow near the home of a cousin he was going to visit at Canoe Lake ‘First Nation’, a 1,700-member reserve.

“It was shocking to me to see him lying there in the snow”,
said Cynthia Ballantyne, Keith’s aunt.
“I couldn’t sleep. I just can’t close my eyes. They must have jumped him.”

“Something has to be done about these animals because kids go out every day, and they are afraid”,
Ms. Ballantyne said.
“It’s not safe for them to go out. It is the same all across the north. Reserves need help with these animals. The dogs are overpopulated and not fed anything at all.”

“By late yesterday, Band members had hunted down and killed four dogs with Keith’s blood on their fur.

“All of a sudden yesterday, they started killing the dogs — but they were told last week after another kid was attacked”,
Ms. Ballantyne said.
“They just jumped to it after my nephew was dead. It’s not right. They should have done it before. Other kids have been bitten, too. They will even attack grown-up persons. Now, it’s too late for my nephew.”

“Ms. Ballantyne said that more than 200 half-starved dogs roam the reserve in packs, searching for food.

“Nobody is tying them up or feeding their own animals”,
she said.
“They don’t bother taking care of them. They let them go loose and wild.”

“Keith, a boisterous, popular child, was well known in the community. He was extremely close to his elder brother, Sonny, who has a significant learning disability and relied on Keith to help him communicate and understand the world around him.

“Keith is like a guide to him”,
said a local resident, who asked to remain anonymous.
“Sonny is going to be very lost. It will take a long time for his to understand that his brother is gone.”

“Geraldine Red-Iron, a vice-principal at Canoe Lake’s high school, said that the dog issue is very divisive. She said that whenever authorities try to kill the wild dogs, people claiming to be their owners rise up in anger.

“They get very, very defensive about the dogs”,
Ms. Red-Iron said.
“This is not just a reserve issue. It is a northern issue. The bylaws regarding pets are not enforced. Whenever we see a pack of dogs near our school, we have to call the Band office to come and remove them.”

“She said that Bands have tried unsuccessfully to persuade provincial health authorities to send vets up north to neuter dogs.

“Mr. Ballantyne said that her cousin was hired by the Canoe Lake band council several weeks ago to kill some of the dogs. Within days, she said, he was arrested for garroting one of them, and is now serving a ten-month jail sentence for animal cruelty.

“Keith was the third child mauled by dogs in northern Saskatchewan in the past two years. In 2007, a five-year-old boy on the Cumberland House ‘First Nation’ reserve died after in an unprovoked attack by five dogs.

“Last fall, a six-year-old child at Île à la Crosse, Sask., was badly bitten but survived after surgeons at a Saskatoon hospital used 60 stitches to close the wounds.

“Lance Loonskin, a five-year-old boy in northern Alberta, died in 2006 after being mauled by a pack of dogs running loose on the North Tallcree reserve.

“In Manitoba, two children also suffered the same fate in 2006. A two-year-old boy on the Hollow Water reserve and a three-year-old boy on the Sayisi Dene reserve were fatally attacked by dog packs.”

–‘Fatal mauling of boy, 9, highlights wild-dog menace’,
Kirk Makin, Toronto Globe and Mail, February 1, 2010

Reserve Dogs (Associated Press)

See also:
Reserves Get Volunteer Help for Animal Issues{February 2, 2015}:
“Dr. Samson-French believes there could be as many as a million unhoused dogs on reserves across Canada. She estimates there are at least two semi-wild dogs for every home on a reserve.”
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