Spay and neuter clinics to travel the Yukon River

first_imgWesternSpay and neuter clinics to travel the Yukon RiverJune 23, 2015 by Ben Matheson, KYUK Share:(Creative Commons photo by Klearchos Kapoutsis)Veterinarians will be on the Yukon River next week to vaccinate, spay and neuter dogs.Angie Fitch is director for Alaska Native Rural Veterinary, one of the groups teaming up to give the free clinics.“It reduces the number of unwanted litters of puppies, there will be fewer strays. It’s a public health issue,” Fitch says.Most Alaska villages don’t have regular vet visits. A trip to the vet in urban Alaska can cost several hundred dollars and require multiple flights.Two veterinarians from the Lower 48 and another will join Environmental Health Officer Brian Berube from the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. He says rabies, which is found in the YK Delta fox population, presents one of the most serious risks with dog bites.“Especially this time of year when people are out running around and there’s new batches of puppies, we see a pretty big increase in dog bites that we can’t track. Rabies is a disease that, once humans get it, they’re dead. There’s no treating it once the symptoms have started,” Berube says.Up to 200 dog bites are reported each year in the region and many more go unreported. The majority bitten are kids under the age of 10.“Another reason you don’t want stray dogs is because they’re filthy. They get into trash, sewage and dead animals. And as you can imagine, kids like to play with the animals, they get germs and all sorts of illnesses from handling stray dogs,” Berube says.The team will visit Mountain Village beginning June 21st and move on to St. Mary’s, Pitka’s Point, Pilot Station and Marshall. Share this story:last_img read more