A free clinic to spay, neuter and administer shots to dogs and cats will be held at Rocky Boy’s and Fort Belknap Indian Reservations this weekend.
The Rocky Boy clinic will be today and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Old Post Plant on Oats Road.
The Fort Belknap clinic will be at the Chief Nosey Center in Lodge Pole Sunday and at the Bingo Hall at the agency Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Both of the clinics are coordinated with the Spay Montana organization, which sets up free spay and neuter clinics in Montana throughout the year.
Alfred Parker, utilities coordinator and environment health technican at Rocky Boy, has been part of the annual event for 13 years.
Parker said they usually get about 100 dogs and cats at the free clinic, where they offer to spay and neuter any cat or dog, as well as administer shots. According to Parker, most of the animals they treat are dogs.
Spaying and neutering the dogs is important, because many of them are mixed-breeds, whose parents were dangerous breeds like “pit bulls, Rottweilers and German shepherds,” Parker said. He added that it is also important to make sure rabies rates are kept down.
Rocky Boy has a wild dog problem due to over-breeding of pets. According to Parker, “the dogs pack up and kill young horses and calves and raise hell with the garbage.”
Many of these dogs are shot by the people of Rocky Boy or run over with vehicles.
“We do this to keep our reservation beautiful,” Parker said. “I just hope my people here in Rocky Boy will bring in their animals.”
According to Parker. the free clinic does not see as many animals as it would like to. He urged that people should take advantage of this opportunity to keep animal numbers down.
Anita Wilke, executive director of RezQ Dogs, will be running the free clinic at Fort Belknap.
“Belknap usually gets a pretty good turnout,” Wilke said. “We have the capacity to help 80 to 90 animals a day.”
RezQ Dogs rescues dogs in Rocky Boy and Fort Belknap reservations. The organization works with abandoned animals to give them shots, spay and neuter them and then find them homes.
Wilke said the clinic and her organization are attempting to stop the overpopulation of pets and packs of dogs like those a Rocky Boy. According to Wilky, people dump their dogs once they are unable to take care of them or if they are breeding too much.
“The dogs run wild and do what they have to to survive,” she said.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ASPCA, 5-7 million animals are put into shelters every year. The Spay Montana organizations aims to do their part to lower this number.