Collaborating For Success
project will collaborate with the following entities in achieving its
The Tribal Animal Control Division
The Tribal Animal Control Division of the Community Health Representatives (CHR) program is responsible for animal control on the Reservation. Although they are doing what they can, with only one staff, one vehicle, and a very limited budget that does not even allow for basic medications, it is impossible for this program to meet the extreme animal care needs on the Reservation. Animal Care Givers will work in collaboration with the Tribal Animal Control Division, sharing information on animals in need of health care and also sharing experiences. This institutional link will help ensure that outcomes achieved through the Project are sustainable over the long-term, even after project end.
The Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS)
RAVS, a program of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and The Fund for Animals, has been doing annual free spay-neuter clinics on the Reservation since 1997. Last year, 300 dogs and cats were neutered, 55 horses castrated and over 1000 animals vaccinated and dewormed through this effort covering four communities. These clinics are extremely valuable, but given that RAVS is on the Reservation for only 5 days a year, this effort alone cannot possibly address the need. More spay/neuter events are required, and these must be paired with efforts to enhance awareness of the importance of spay/neuter.
Robert Little Dog and friends
NAVS (The Native American Veterinary Services) Lakota Animal Care has partnered with NAVS to come to the Reservation annually to do spay/neuter clinics in communities and to assist with training of Lakota Animal Care Givers. Six Veterinarians and 2 Veterinary Technicians, volunteering their time through NAVS and working in collaboration with Lakota Animal Care, visited Manderson in 2011 for four days, during which time they spayed/neuterd 43 dogs and cats and treated a total of 121 dogs and cats (removing porcupine quills, caring for severe injuries and wounds, etc..), as well as vaccinating, castrating and caring for injured horses from the Manderson area.
Off-Reservation Veterinary Clinics
Important initial contacts have been made with Veterinarians in nearby population centers such as Gordon (Nebraska), and Rapid City, Custer and Hot Springs (South Dakota). As the project progresses, these links will be strengthened and more links established with other clinics.
As there are no Veterinary Technicians (Lakota or other) on the Reservation at present, once sufficient funds are available, the project will hire a Veterinary Technician. Preference will be given to hiring a Native American. Until funds are available, the Project will strive to identify a Veterinary Technician candidate to do their externship on the Reservation as a volunteer with the Project. In addition, the Project will welcome volunteer Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians to work with the project for as long as they can. It is hoped this will be the beginning of the animal equivalent of "Doctors Without Borders".
Looking much better after the second treatment
Training Animal Care Givers
Once funding is available, Animal Care Givers will receive training from a qualified Veterinary Technician who will be contracted by the project, and who, after helping to conduct initial training, will continue to work with the project throughout its duration, acting as the immediate supervisor for the Animal Care Givers and as the liaison with Project Advisors. The Animal Care Givers will also spend time shadowing the Animal Control Officer (with the Animal Control Division) at the outset of the project to learn as much as possible from that experience. (Although the approach to animal care will differ, there is still much to be learned from that approach.)
Checking for general health
To complement this training, visits will be made to veterinary clinics off the Reservation where veterinarians have indicated an interest in providing no-cost training for the Animal Care Givers (either offering to allow Animal Care Givers to shadow their Vet Techs or offering short workshops for them). This will serve the dual purpose of providing essential training for the Animal Care Givers and, just as important, establishing links and relationships with these Veterinarians. Preliminary contact has been made with several clinics to assess their interest and availability, and positive responses obtained.
In addition, institutional links will be established with Veterinary schools and Veterinary Technician programs around the country, and the possibility of Veterinary Technician candidates doing their externships on the Reservation, in coordination with the Project, will be explored. This will help meet some animal care needs on the Reservation, and will also enhance the awareness of Veterinary Technician students about animal care needs on Tribal lands. Veterinarians who wish to volunteer to help the project for short periods of time might provide short workshops for the Animal Care Givers, or help in other ways.