Fort Chip dog cull prompts howls from animal rescue groups

A controversial plan to destroy untethered dogs at a two northern Alberta reserves is drawing protests from animal rescue groups.

Northern Alberta reserve offered dogcatcher $100 bounty for each stray dog

A controversial plan to destroy untethered dogs at a two northern Alberta reserves is drawing protests from animal rescue groups.

"Nobody wants to see dogs dying unnecessarily,"  said Rachel Glube, with Rescue For Life, a group in Spruce Grove, Alta.

The Mikisew Cree First Nation in northeast Alberta posted an ad on their website looking for somebody who would capture and destroy an estimated 40 dogs running free on the Allison Bay and Doghead reserves in the Fort Chipewyan area.

It warned that all dogs that weren't tied up by Friday would be captured and killed with the dogcatcher getting paid $100 per dog.

"There have been too many complaints about owners of dogs not taking the necessary responsibility in caring for their dogs and therefore Council has decided that in an effort to curb this problem and avoid any accidents that all dogs will be captured and destroyed as of Friday, February 14th, 2014," the ad reads.

The ad has since been removed from the website. 

No further details about the cull were offered and calls to the first nation were not returned.

The Fort McMurray SPCA is offering to work with the community to remove the dogs.

"We want to reach out to some community leaders ... to see if they would be open to our support and participation in finding a long-term, sustainable solution that would address their concerns without the culling of healthy dogs," executive director Terra Clarke said in a news release.

The RCMP is also trying to help.

"We're coming together next week to look at everything to find out where we can work together and how we can solve this problem," said Const. Dale Bendfeld. 

"From the municipality we're looking at tags and, if it's a matter of equipment, from chains to tie them up or collars  that is also being looked at."

Bendfeld said he wants to meet with the Mikisew Cree next week to discuss other ideas like a long-term spay-and-neuter plan.    

With files from the CBC's Gareth Hampshire


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