Reservation Angel

   By Monica V.

An “angel” was found on the Fort Peck Reservation. While passing through Fort Kipp, Montana, a truck driver thought he saw a styrofoam cup blowing across the road. This turned out to be a 1-month-old puppy that he rescued and brought to Pound Puppies, a shelter in Wolf Point, Montana.

Our Program Partner Tina oversees the operations at Pound Puppies and receives supplies and support from Partnership With Native Americans® (PWNA) through its Reservation Animal Rescue® (RAR) program. She said Angel was found in poor condition with a serious head injury. Angel is “way too young to be away from her mom,” so Tina comforted the pup with a stuffed animal that has a simulated heartbeat and heat pack for warmth.

Once Angel has some tests done, she’ll be fostered by the truck driver who found her. First, they need to draw her blood and test for canine brucellosis, a contagious bacterial infection that can cause reproductive problems.

Angel’s story is one of many rescues thanks to Pound Puppies, a facility run entirely by volunteers. Once a month, they hire a low-cost veterinarian to hold spay and neuter clinics within the tribal community. Without these clinics, animal owners must travel 50 miles away to reach a veterinarian.

Tina shared, “We host fundraisers and seek out sponsors; the money goes to care for the animals. We pay for those who can’t pay, because animals are the truly innocent victims out there. We give our time so that these dogs can have a better life.”

During a recent clinic, Pound Puppies spayed/neutered 25 dogs, 57 cats and 1 rabbit. They also held their first cat “Trap, Neuter, Release” event, trapping 20 feral cats. Seven cats were rehomed, 12 were released, and one was so sick it had to be euthanized. If only it had been found earlier.

Pound Puppies gets regular deliveries of animal care supplies, thanks to the RAR program. “We’ve needed food, but it’s been in short supply. The puppy pads and disaster blankets are nice, and the cleaning supplies are always needed.”

Pound Puppies normally keeps animals onsite until an adopter or foster connection is made, but after complaints about dogs barking, they can no longer keep them long-term. She told us, “We’ll still do transport and testing here, but the animals must then go to the local pound. They’re a kill shelter, so we do everything we can to find them homes. If we don’t have a spot open, we’ll provide food for the animal and ask for more time.”

Tina said the reservation is overrun with stray dogs, and there are some local fosters, but adoptions are rare. You can support reservation animals in need by donating to RAR today.