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It may be hard to imagine not having access to veterinary care, a healthy, balanced diet and essential supplies for our beloved dogs, but that’s exactly what some pets and their owners in remote Northern Canada face every day.
But thanks to the efforts of International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)’s Northern Dogs Project, PetSmart Canada, Halo, Purely for Pets and Freekibble.com, dogs in those communities will have plenty of quality, nutritious food this spring.
The IFAW is focused on improving the welfare of animals across the globe through awareness and education. The Northern Dogs project assists underserved communities in remote Canada care for their animals.
Through IFAW, dedicated volunteers, including veterinarians, travel to rural Canadian communities several times a year, to deliver food and essential supplies and services to help dogs in need.
Recently, the Northern Dogs team received a large donation of premium dog food at a Toronto area PetSmart, courtesy of Halo, Purely for Pets and Freekibble.com, a web site dedicated to helping pets in need. The IFAW will transport the 25,000 meals to a storage facility more than a day’s drive north from Toronto. The food will then be delivered during volunteer missions to the communities the IFAW serves.
IFAW’s Northern Dogs Project Manager, Jan Hannah points out that the timing for the donation is helpful. “It’s still winter in a lot of the communities where IFAW works. In such cold, dogs need a lot of energy to keep themselves warm and this donation will go a long way to helping them do that.”
The Northern Dogs volunteers bring food, pet care items and medications and provide veterinary care and perform spay and neuter surgeries to keep the dog population in check. And, importantly, they offer education on proper dog care to residents in these communities to keep their dogs as healthy as possible year round.
The Toronto Animal Services also received 50,000 meals for the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition, which cares for stray and abandoned felines in the Toronto metro area.
Freekibble.com is a web site started by an 11-year-old girl in 2008. Animal lovers can go to the site every day to answer a pet-related trivia question. For each answer, Freekibble.com donates 10 pieces of Halo Spot’s Stew to dogs and cats in need. Halo is the site’s official kibble sponsor. To date, the site has donated more than 14.5 million meals to U.S. based shelters and rescues but now, thanks to the partnership with PetSmart Canada, Freekibble.com is now able to benefit Canadian pets.