Reservation (Rez) Dogs

This morning when we left we decided to stop at McDonald’s to get a pop for the drive. While we were waiting for our order this guy came running in and asked for a phone to call 911. He said that he hit a dog and his phone didn’t have service. Earlier we had seen a few dogs chasing cars on the highway and almost getting hit. :/ We didn’t think much of it because in Kayenta there are dogs EVERYWHERE. It’s a common occurrence to run into the grocery store and have about 5-10 dogs hanging out by the door. Kim (one of the nursing students with me) is a Vet Tech so we went outside to see if there was anything she could do. The dog didn’t really have any outward signs of being hit but his front paws were kind of scraped up and he was just lying there breathing pretty fast. Basically there wasn’t anything that could be done at the time so they asked us if we would be willing to drive him to the shelter down the street. We agreed and were about to take him but then the manager at McDonalds said that she would take him. He had on a collar which made us think that he was someone’s dog and not a stray but we weren’t sure. Also, many of the homeless dogs on the reservation are aware of the traffic and know to stay out of the street, but this little guy did not. On the reservation it’s very common for people to drop off unwanted dogs and cats to just roam and fend for themselves. This is not only extremely sad but it causes all sorts of problems. These dogs do not have any care and so they carry disease and many people end up being bitten. Diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are a big problem here. Around the reservation they have events called “Surrender Your Dog” where you can turn in unwanted dogs and cats. One of the public health workers here told us that last year alone 100,000 animals were euthanized. My heart is completely broken over this. It’s such a hard thing when I compare this way of thinking to my own life. I think of all the things that we do for our pets and how much I love my little Dukee pig, Opie, and Otis. It’s such a different mindset. Kim is planning on talking to some of the individuals at Purdue’s veterinary school when we get back to see if maybe a group would be interested in making a trip down to help vaccinate some of the dogs because this is one of the main issues. So our morning started out pretty sad but we’re on our way to Antelope Canyon now so hopefully the rest of the day goes better! Give your pets some love today! (And Mom, pet my love bug for me!!!)

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