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Cote First Nation reviewing dog culling policies
Published Tuesday, April 9, 2019 6:11PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, April 11, 2019 2:46PM CST
The Cote First Nation band office is reviewing its policies after 11 dead dogs were found near railway tracks.
The RCMP began investigating last week after they received several reports of dead dogs near the town of Runnymede.
The investigation led to Cote First Nation, where the dogs had been culled.
A representative from the first nation said the incident was regrettable but necessary.
"Throughout the year we've had nine bites,” Darlene Bryant, Cote First Nation health director said. “And these range from the smallest child to an adult.”
Bryant said dogs are often abandoned on Cote, located north of Kamsack, and they quickly become strays.
“We're a dumping ground for a lot of pets. It's not uncommon to see dogs actually even with a collar," Bryant said.
When the dogs are abandoned they hunt for food and sometimes congregate into packs. Their hunt for food often causes them to tear into garbage bins and become increasingly aggressive.
It’s especially a concern for the nearly 70 children, ages four to 18, who attend the Cote First Nation Youth Centre. Some children had been attacked and are now too scared to return.
Bryant said that so many dogs are left at Cote, that there are usually two or three culls a year.
The disposal of the dogs was done inappropriately, according to Bryant.
She said that the contractor hired to cull the dogs made his own decision about where to leave the bodies. Bryant also said the contractor won't be hired again.
There are no laws against culling dogs when they become nuisance animals, so long as the cull is done in a humane fashion.
Don Ferguson, Executive Director of the Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan, warns that there are consequences for people who abandon or neglect dogs.
“Abandoning their dog is contrary to the Animal Prevention Act and they could be charged if found abandoning their dogs," he said.
He recommends that pet owners seek alternatives to leaving their pets.
“There are still agencies, like the respective humane societies and SPCAs, where they can be humanely euthansized,” he said.
Bryant told CTV News that she had spoken to an animal behavior specialist and is seeking out alternatives to culls. In the short term she says the band office is looking to partner with a shelter to help find homes for the dogs, and that over the long term, Cote will discuss constructing their own kennels to house dogs.
She says she hopes that animals never have to be culled again at Cote.