*Leech Lake Legacy is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization

Envisioning a world where every reservation dog and cat is well cared for

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Yukon Project: 150 dog houses make their way to Leech Lake Reservation!

Last Saturday a team of Leech Lake Legacy volunteers (Marilou, Jenny and Terri) made the long trek from the metro to Leech Lake Reservation. We were joined by Kelli Harmon of the ASPCA who happened to be in frigid Minnesota for the month of January. The Leech Lake Tribal Police, in partnership with Leech Lake Legacy, is currently participating in the ASPCA Carroll Petrie Foundation Dog Rescue Project (http://www.aspcapro.org/caroll-petrie-foundation-dog.php) and have had the good fortune of working closely with Kelli Harmon via email over the past few months.

We knew we had a lot of animals to transport back to the city. In total 36 dogs/cats were to be transported back from a combo transport of animals from Red Lake Reservation and Leech Lake Reservation. The LLL team left at 6:45 in the morning and pulled into the Leech Lake Impound at 10:45 am. We were met by LLL volunteers Nancy and Tom O and Rory (Leech Lake Tribal Police Community Services Officer). Shortly after we arrived, Ken Washington (Asst Chief of Police, Leech Lake Tribal Police) and Sergeant Scott Keller (Leech Lake Tribal Police) joined us. Everyone helped in unloading one of the vans filled with donated dog/cat food and cat litter. Since we were fortunate to have Kelli from the ASPCA join us for our transport we wanted to take the opportunity for her to experience first hand a transport of animals from the Leech Lake Impound to our partner shelter, the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, MN. While Jenny, Terri, Tom, Nancy and Rory were hard at work getting the animals ready for transport, Marilou and Kelli went on a short tour of Leech Lake Reservation with Ken and Scott. We visited a couple tribal housing areas close to the Impound. The weather was bitterly cold on Saturday, 1/19. Temperatures were sub-zero with wind-chills in the minus twenties. As the day went on the temperatures were continuing to plummet. While driving around one of the tribal housing areas we saw quite a few dogs running loose. Some would chase after the car while others would stand back and scope us out from a distance. One dog, a black dog was curled up next to a house. It was apparent he was cold. Many of the smaller dogs live inside, but many of the larger dogs are outside dogs on the Reservation.
L to R: Ken, Rory, Midas (shepherd mix), Kelli

Upon returning to the cities, Kelli and Marilou separately kept thinking of the outside rez dogs with the bitter cold. On Monday, emails were being exchanged on how we could round up igloo dog houses and straw for the outside rez dogs. On Monday night (1/21) Marilou posted a photo of the black dog by the house with a plea for donations: donations for used igloos or monetary donations so Leech Lake Legacy could purchase igloos for the dogs. The response was overwhelming. In addition, Kelli reached out to her colleagues at ASPCA, who in turn then reached out to a contact at PetSmart Charities and the wheels were set in motion to obtain an emergency grant to secure igloos.

This morning we got confirmation from PetSmart Charities that 150 dog houses AND 150 enrichment kongs were being loaded onto a truck in their warehouse in Arizona and would be arriving at the Leech Lake Tribal Police headquarters on Monday morning!!! 

Ken Washington, Asst Chief of Police, indicated he could easily distribute 250 dog houses to residents of the Reservation for their outside dogs, but the 150 dog houses will go a LONG way to launching the Yukon Project an ongoing effort, in partnership with the Leech Lake Tribal Police, to provide shelter for outside reservation dogs. The distribution of the dog houses to the residents of Leech Lake Reservation will be handled by the Leech Lake Tribal Police.
The inspiration behind The Yukon Project!

In addition to the 150 dog houses and kongs being shipped (a HUGE thank you to PetSmart Charities and to the ASPCA for helping make the connection!) we have received 8 donated igloos/dog houses and $1,620 in donations. We received a very generous donation of $500 from a rescued Red Lake rez pup, Bart the Dumpster Dog. Thank you Bart!! Thanks to the generosity of Bart and many others we have been able to ship 4 igloos so far. We are currently working on a longer term plan on ensuring outside reservation dogs have shelter and exploring more cost effective ways to build houses for the dogs, while working in partnership with the residents of Leech Lake Reservation. More to come on some great ideas that are brewing. We will continue to ship igloos from donations raised for the outside reservation dogs.
4 Leech Lake pups who arrived on transport (photo by Megan F of AHS)

Because of the generosity and support of so many, the outside dogs of Leech Lake Reservation will now have shelter from the bitter cold. The Yukon Project is the latest Leech Lake Legacy program. We are excited to launch The Yukon Project with 150 dog houses being shipped to Leech Lake Reservation (a HUGE thanks again to PetSmart Charities!). All of the programs offered by Leech Lake Legacy are offered in partnership with the Leech Lake Tribal Police: The Yukon Project, our transport program (where we transport animals from the Leech Lake Impound to our partner shelters and rescues), spay/neuter clinics, and Puppy Roundups.

We continue to need your support. If you would like to support any of our programs please consider making a donation. You can make a donation online at http://leechlakelegacy.org/donate.html 

No comments:

Post a Comment