Last Litter Program

The Cause

The NWT SPCA is launching the Last Litter Program for all communities in the Northwest Territories. The program is designed to keep female dogs with their families instead of surrendering them due to their being pregnant. NWT SPCA will bring the pregnant moms to the shelter (via air if required), care for them through the delivery and nursing phase of the puppies which is 8 weeks. We ensure mom and pups are vaccinated and when the mom is done nursing, we spay the mom and send her home to her family. The puppies are then either adopted in the North or send out to other animal welfare organizations in the south who can provide them with homes.

Our organization is looking for all opportunities to help keep dogs with their families and reduce the number of unwanted dogs in the communities. We are able to care for the mom and her pups where families are unable to and do not have access to veterinarian services. We often see emergent cases where moms develop serious medical concerns:
• acute septic mastitis which is a bacterial infection in the one or several of the dog's breast which become swollen and very painful.
• acute metritus - a bladder infection which occurs during labour or postpartum.
• eclampsia or milk fever - a dangerous fall in blood calcium.
• unable to nurse, and
• other factors which may affect the puppies: rejection from mom, parvo which can be fatal for puppies and unvaccinated animals if not treated.

Majority of litters are born in the spring and in the fall so we are able to plan on having a veterinarian on staff in June/July and October/November when the moms are ready to wean off the pups and be able to be spayed. As you are aware, the Northwest Territories only has 3 veterinarians located in Yellowknife and as they are at capacity, they fully support the NWT SPCA bringing in veterinarians to the North. We have established relationships with the University of Calgary and some of their veterinarian graduates within Alberta who are willing to come and help us.

The funding will assist in travel, accommodations, and salaries for these veterinarians to come north. In addition to the flights to get the animals to/from the communities, we also provide for all the medical supplies, exercise, food, and care they receive while with us. We estimate an average of four to five litters in each term which equates to eight to ten spays in a year.

Who Will it Benefit?

Families in Northern communities who do not have access to veterinarian services and the communities themselves with the reduction of unwanted puppies.