*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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year ... and the launching of Leech Lake Legacy's new tag line.

Guest blog contributor: 
Craig Berdan, LLL Board member/treasurer and volunteer extraordinaire!

“Saving cats and dogs…because they matter.”

These words may have inspired you to become involved with Leech Lake Legacy.  We have a generous donor base and volunteer contingent due in no small part to big hearts and soft spots for cats and dogs.

Since our humble beginnings with transports in 2011, we’ve found more ways to help more animals.  Consider how our core programs have changed since then:

• Spay/neuter clinics have grown from none to eight clinic days per year, and include transport service from remote reservation communities
• Wellness clinics have grown from none to 12 clinic days per year
• Transports now occur at least once per week, and we have monthly surrender events; animals from White Earth and Red Lake reservations and surrounding communities are being served as well

But we know that spay/neuter and wellness clinics and transports and surrender events can go only so far in improving the lives of reservation animals.  While we will not stray from those core programs, we need to be open to new ways of reaching reservation animals and residents, earning and keeping reservation residents’ trust, and providing what we can to further improve the lives of reservation animal.

As communities in general struggle with issues like poverty and violence, we can see direct impact on the animals in those communities.  Healing and help is needed by both people and animals, and so you’ve seen additional efforts provided for reservation residents by Leech Lake Legacy like:

• Transport and distribution of donated pet food and cat litter
• Fundraising for and distribution of dog houses and straw
• Volunteer staffing at the Leech Lake impound
• Delivery of donated clothing and school supplies

Of course, healing and help is needed far beyond Leech Lake Reservation.  Look for Leech Lake Legacy to continue to reach out to the remote communities of Leech Lake Reservation and to assist at White Earth and Red Lake reservations.  As we work with Native America Humane Society, we hope to make Leech Lake Legacy a model organization to be replicated on other reservations.

The work we hope to do will require substantial financial resources.  Unfortunately, when people needs and animal needs compete for funding, people needs usually “win.”  We need to be mindful of the people-impact of our work by asking these questions,

How can we help reservation animals in such a way as to also improve the lives of people in the reservation community?   

How can we help people in the reservation community in such a way as to also improve the lives of reservation animals?

And so, after much reflection and discussion ... we are changing our tagline to words that more accurately reflect what we do and what we hope to do as we move forward into 2015 and beyond:

“Serving reservation animals and the people who love them.”

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