Frequently Asked Questions about the IHS
- I'm new to Iqaluit. Where the heck is the shelter?
- We are located at 1342 Ulu Lane (off Federal Road). There are no identifying signs on the property. It is the white and blue building with the doggie pen out front. The city dog pound is located on the side (near the back) of the building. Our door is the front one. We hope to finally get a sign up on the door in the near future and possibly a road sign on Federal.
- I heard there's a $10 fee. Do I have to pay to volunteer?
- No. The $10 fee is to become a member of the Iqaluit Humane Society. This essentially grants you voting power at the Annual General Meetings. Volunteering for the IHS is absolutely free. We ask that if you're a regular contributer that you pay the fee and become a society member. The money goes towards the overall insurance for the shelter volunteers.
- Wait. Wait. Wait. Does that mean if I volunteer and am not a member I am not insured??
- Not at all. You are insured but only if you put your full name in our log book when you come for a shift. Those who have paid the membership fee have their names already on a list that is sent to the insurance company.
- Who are the Board of Directors for the IHS then?
- The current board of directors consists of:
Janelle Kennedy - Chair
Michelle Doucette-Issaluk - Vice Chair
Lynette Thomas - Treasurer
Shannon Richardson - Secretary
Lindsay Mills - Operational
- Where do all the animals come from?
- They come from all over town. Some are surrendered by owners who can't care for their pets anymore. The majority though are strays and loose animals that Municipal Enforcement picks up.
- How long do you keep them?
- Up until August of 2011 we used to board animals at the shelter. Unfortunately we had to close our doors to sheltering services due to lack of volunteers and overwhelming work hours needed to maintain an operational shelter. Now all stray, loose and/or surrendered animals are held at the city pound until they are released to us by Municipal Enforcement once their quarantine period has expired. At that time they are enrolled into our Dog Run Rescue Program in order to avoid termination
- Wait a minute. What do you mean by "quarantine period" and "avoid termination"?
- The sobering reality about the dog overpopulation problem in Iqaluit is that the majority that are picked up by Municipal Enforcement are inevitably brought to the edge of town and shot if they are deemed a threat to the public or their stay at the pound has expired. It doesn't matter if the dog as "good" or "bad". If an owner refuses to pay their fines, the dog has been quarantined for too long (generally past 72hrs) or Municipal Enforcement is short on space they all end up facing the same end. It's a painful truth that the general public chooses to turn a blind eye to but we, as volunteers, must deal with on a daily basis. The only saving grace for past term pound animals is enrollment in our Dog Run Rescue Program. It allows them a second chance at life by transferring them to a no-kill facility down south where they inevitably get adopted.
- Does the IHS euthanize animals?
- No. We are a no-kill organization. If an animal must be euthanized they are referred to the city's veterinarian (at a cost) to receive a humane termination or they are surrendered to Municipal Enforcement for the alternative.
- What can anyone do to help prevent all the needless terminations?
- There are a number of ways to help turn the tide. The most relevant is through community awareness and education. Many people do not understand the importance of spaying and neutering their dogs. Instead they let they pets run free and mate with other dogs recklessly. This then spawns a new generation of homeless animals the city must contend with. Another way to help combat the problem in a more hands-on manner is to volunteer for the IHS. We have opportunities for all types of preferences, each contributing to the overall goal of promoting responsible pet ownership and rescuing the unfortunate abandoned masses.
- Does the IHS perform medical treatment for injured animals?
- No. With a resident veteranarian in the city now the IHS no longer provides medical assistance.
- I've come by a few times and you were closed. When exactly are your hours?
- Unlike shelters in the south, we do not have a paid staff to manage day-to-day operations. Instead the shelter currently serves as a staging ground for the Dog Run Rescue Program. Volunteers generally go in at various times throughout the week to assemble, disinfect and label travel kennels for use on the Dog Runs. There are no set times for the Builders. They pre-arrange for times to show up and a board member accompanies them for the build duties. The only time the shelter is "open" is during the Tuesday Dog Runs between the hours of 10am and 11am. That is the only guaranteed time the shelter is open and staff is on hand (provided a Run is actually taking place).
- If I find a dog (or cat) on the street can I bring them to the shelter?
- Legally we can not accept animals unless they are (a) released to us by their rightful owner(s) and an Animal Release form is filled out and signed by the former owner or (b) transfered over to us from Municipal Enforcement. If you encounter an animal that you you feel isn't dangerous and needs attention please call Municipal Enforcement and inform them of the details. They will pick the animal up and make sure it is brought to the pound, fed and looked after. If the animal is in need of immediate medical care, is yery young or poses no threat it will be transfered over to us where we can see that it is properly taken care of. We ask that you do not leave or abandon animals in the outdoor kennel in front of the shelter.
- I've had issues trying to contact you in the past. What's the best way to get in touch with you?
- Email (info[at]iqaluithumanesociety[dot]com) or our Facebook Page are by far the most reliable ways to get in touch with us. Our shelter phone messages only get checked once a week so if it is a priority your best bet is to use the Internet.
- You guys sent my pet down south. What do I do now?
- Animals sent down south by us via the Dog Run Rescue Program are released to us by their owners or by Municipal Enforcement by way of signed documents. We do not transport animals illegally. What this means is that by the time an animal reaches us it either goes south or gets terminated by Municipal Enforcement. It is the owner's responsibility to retrieve their pet in a timely manner. Municipal Enforcement often holds quarantined animals well past their 72hr term of stay at the pound. If for some reason you can't get in touch with them we can do nothing about it. The IHS has no jurisdiction over the city pound therefore we can't provide you with much assistance while your pet is impounded. If you wish to check if your missing animal is about to be sent out it is advised that you show up Tuesdays at 10am (the day of the Dog Runs) with your proof of ownership and confer with Municipal Enforcement before they are released to us.
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