In Cass Lake, Minnesota, members of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe found a way to connect with their cultural and spiritual roots by improving animal welfare in their community.
Animals are central to Ojibwe beliefs, and according to their sacred origin stories, the original man and wolf walked the earth together and became like brothers. A relative of the wolf, dogs are also celebrated in the community, and this treatment extends to other domestic animals like cats.
According to U.S. News, stray animals used to be a common sight in the Leech Lake Reservation. The poverty and remoteness of the community meant that pet owners couldn’t afford basic services like veterinary care and sterilization, and many animals were neglected.
About 10 years ago, the nonprofit Leech Lake Legacy began to take in surrendered animals and adopt them out. The organization also brought mobile clinics to the community and provided vet services. Spurred on by several community members, the movement to improve animal welfare gained traction.
These days, strays are no longer a common sight in the community, and people of all ages are actively involved in the care of rescued animals and family pets.
Now, the first veterinary clinic in Lake Cass is about to be built, and it’s expected that its doors will open in spring. Members of the community believe that this effort has not only improved animal welfare, but has also brought people together.
Supporting Community Efforts in Improving Animal Welfare
Businesses and commercial establishments are in a unique position to support non-profit and community-led animal welfare efforts in their neighborhoods. Business owners can offer monetary support or donate much-needed pet products like custom dog collars and leashes, dog toys and beddings (such as personalized dog blankets and beds), and other items. These acts of generosity allow businesses to contribute to the improvement of their community and establish a good relationship with the neighborhoods that they serve.
For more pet news every week, make sure to visit the PrideBites blog.