Soul Dog is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit animal rescue organization founded with the mission to spay/neuter and protect animals. Soul Dog is proactive in animal welfare, advancing the need for spaying and neutering our pets to reduce overpopulation. We travel to rural communities on Native American reservations, where spaying and neutering will only happen if it is nearly free or very convenient. Soul Dog works with volunteer veterinarians to provide the spaying and neutering service at no cost to the public. Donations are used to defray the costs associated with medications, supplies, and the operating cost for clinics.
Soul Dog Rescue performs collaborative, targeted work, primarily through spay/neuter, in underserved regions in order to create sustainable change and promote cultural shifts regarding the treatment of companion animals.
WORK ON TRIBAL LANDS
Saving Lives in the Four Corners Region
Soul Dog started with a mission of helping the deserving dogs and cats on Tribal Lands in the Four Corners region. It seemed that very little was being done to address the overpopulation situation and lack of resources available for pet owners. Rescue was happening on a small scale by some hearty groups who had been doing what they could, but what was really needed was a proactive approach and a means to eliminate the unwanted litters of puppies and kittens being born at staggering numbers. Animal control was kept busy with the unpleasant task of euthanizing all of the unwanted animals, and things were in a bit of a spiral. Spay/neuter is the only answer to ever getting ahead, and Soul Dog knew that help could be given in this department. Spay/neuter is not sexy, it’s not well-funded, and it’s a grind. If you stop and ease up for even a year, all of your work is undone and you are back to square one. Knowing this, we made the decision to be all-in on bringing spay/neuter to the Four Corners. Our aim is to provide between one and two clinics per month in varying locations, making it not only affordable (no animal is EVER turned away for the inability of the owner or caretaker to pay) but attainable. The key is to bring the services right into each community, taking the transportation issue out of the equation (the Navajo Reservation is extremely vast and many miles separate each town and village from the next).
SPAY & NEUTER
Our clinics are often held in chapter houses, schools, community buildings, and vacant spaces, where we set up a “Pop-up Veterinary Clinic” similar to what one would expect from any stationary clinic. We bring in state-of-the-art equipment and leave no stone unturned as we aim to bring only the “gold-star” standard to the services we provide. Our staff is comprised of veterinary professionals who are experienced in the specialty of “high-volume, high-quality spay/neuter”. The care received at our pop-up clinics is paramount to what we are doing and we pride ourselves in offering the standard of care parallel or exceeding what would be received in other clinics. We often have one-on-one post-op care for each patient and animals have eye-balls on them until they are fully awake to ensure that recovery goes smooth.
We don’t have a set fee, rather we ask for a suggested donation to the program between $10-$15. Typically the donations range from $5-$20 per animal, although some people do more and some people have a situation that doesn’t allow them to donate at this time, so we will gladly take care of all animals at no cost. Each animal is sterilized, vaccinated, and dewormed with a basic dewormer. At this time cash is the only form of donation taken at the pop-up clinics.
In the first quarter of 2020, our BELOVED mobile clinic, FYDA, was reconstructed and ready to hit the road. This is an old Airstream trailer gutted and retrofitted as a mobile spay/neuter clinic. The aim is to get FYDA out to some of the really remote locations where finding a building to host a “pop-up” clinic might be challenging. FYDA was first rolled out in 2008, was briefly retired, and is now updated and back on the road.
Each week Soul Dog is asked to help between 15-80 dogs and cats from the Ute Mountain and Navajo Reservations, with the majority being puppies, often with their mothers, surrendered due to lack of spay/neuter resources. If Soul Dog cannot take them and pick them up weekly, they are euthanized. There are no other groups helping the animals at three of four Navajo animal control facilities, so the responsibility falls to Soul Dog to save these lives week after week. It is an emotional and heartbreaking decision, but if there is no space at the shelter and fosters don’t step up to help, there is simply no option and great animals die. Fostering is simply stated, a lifesaving endeavor! It is a tough gig. It is hard work, and it can be extremely difficult to part with your foster when the time comes, thus the term “foster-fail” and the reason so many fosters are one and done. While it is not an easy job, it is quite possibly the most rewarding thing one can do.
We at Soul Dog Rescue want to emphatically send our appreciation and gratitude to each and every donor who chooses to trust us with their generosity. Without donors, we would not be able to put our mission of helping as many cats and dogs on Tribal Lands as possible, into action. We are a small, grassroots organization comprised of a handful of people working our tails off to move mountains for these animals.
Soul Dog is always looking for volunteers to support our clinics. If you are a veterinarian, vet technician, vet assistant, or experienced animal handler interested in volunteering, we would love to hear from you. Volunteers are vital to the success of our organization and are rewarded in so many ways!
The success of our program depends on the generosity of volunteers and donors who support this important work.
Visit souldog.org or call (303) 857-6789 for more information.