I am writing in response to the KYUK article about the Tuntutuliak dogs being rescued from the village and taken to Bethel and Anchorage. This is not the first time one of the villages has asked for assistance with the loose dog population. I feel like the article portrays the villages in a negative light and that the whole story isn’t being shared.
Alaska Native Rural Veterinary, Inc. has been partnering with Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) for years! We are an organization that works to provide veterinary care to the villages who request help through bringing veterinary teams to the villages. We often work with Christian Veterinary Mission, and between us we have provided veterinary and spay/neuter services to 40 of YK villages, many multiple times since 2012.
All of these villages and many others have requested spay/neuter service to help with the reduction of their loose dog populations. The communities have been working proactively on the stray dog situation for years.
ANRV has enjoyed working with the tribes and embraces the opportunity to now work closely with Yukon Kuskokwim Canine Health Association (YKCHA) to expand these services. Several years ago, we partnered with a trade school to have lumber cut, and then flown into the villages for the school shop teachers/students to use to build doghouses for the village dogs and this program has been a great success, mostly because the desire for the doghouses is coming from the villagers.
We are excited to be able to expand the doghouse program to even more of the YK villages with the recent partnership with YKCHA. YKCHA is a locally operated program that can solve these issues at the local level and with local answers. We are proud to be part of the team. We are all team members, working alongside the people.
The villages have seen the anti-hunting news, as well as the negativity towards mushing which only brings damage and shame into the communities. The bond between the people and the animals, whether it be ones they harvest to feed their families, or ones they keep as pets is driven by a strong culture that is being unfairly challenged by the media. That is why we are all uniting to protect the communities.
Native people have been living with canines for thousands of years. YKCHA has created protocols to provide veterinary care and other services, while at the same time protecting the communities, their culture and way of life!
Thank you for your time.
Angie Fitch, Alaska Native Rural Veterinary, Inc.
Canine Health Association announcement and response to article
To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to announce that Yukon Kuskokwim Canine Health Association will begin village spay/neuter veterinary clinics and doghouse project this coming February. We are a group of mushers and veterinarians that endorse and work with three organizations; the new Hub Outreach Program (HOP) which includes UAF/Department of Veterinary Medicine and the CSU-DVM Program, A-CHILL a school based dog care/mushing program and Alaska Native Rural Veterinary, Inc. that provides pro-bono veterinary services to remote villages.
The goal is to make a combination of resources available for ALL of the communities within the YK Delta region with the participation of Alaska Tribal Governments.
This letter is also in response to the KYUK article and interview with Bethel Friends of Canine regarding the upcoming stray dog round-up in Tuntutuliak that they are planning with an Anchorage based rescue group on January 31st.
While we agree that there is a need to ship stray dogs out, we believe that sharing this information with the news is inappropriate, a betrayal of privacy and demeaning to the communities. The article is now circulating in Anchorage Daily News, Associated Press and is generating negative attention virally.
YKCHA feels that all of our villages should practice self-determination and round-up stray dogs in their communities on their own, in private and out of the news.
The goal of YKCHA is to provide confidential services andveterinary care, while protecting the dignity of our people, our culture and way of life. We encourage tribes to participate in the upcoming spay/neuter and veterinary clinics. These clinics cut down on unwanted litters and reduce the number of roaming stray dogs, which results in fewer dog-bites to children.
However, we cannot emphasize enough that tribes must verify that veterinary and all other groups are trustworthy before inviting them to your community.
If anyone has questions, suggestions or would like help with any of these items, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
Mike Williams Sr., Chairman
Yukon Kuskokwim Canine Health Association
Murkowski’s statement on Senate Impeachment Process Vote
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today (Jan. 31st, 2020) released the following statement on the Senate vote regarding additional evidence for the court of impeachment:
I worked for a fair, honest, and transparent process, modeled after the Clinton trial, to provide ample time for both sides to present their cases, ask thoughtful questions, and determine whether we need more.
The House chose to send articles of impeachment that are rushed and flawed. I carefully considered the need for additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings of its process, but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena.
Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed.
It has also become clear some of my colleagues intend to further politicize this process, and drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the Chief Justice. I will not stand for nor support that effort. We have already degraded this institution for partisan political benefit, and I will not enable those who wish to pull down another.
We are sadly at a low point of division in this country.
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Washington, D.C.
Please offer bereavement fares
Waqaa! My name is Jonella Jones, daughter of Loddie Jones and the late John P. Jones.
I write this letter in complete disgust! As my dad was passing, we tried to reach out to the airlines to get some kind of help to get family to Bethel to pay respects to my dad. We asked the local Bethel airlines if they can at least forgive some of the fare for family members to get from Chevak/Scammon Bay.
You’d think they would have had some sort of heart and sympathy/empathy to reach out. Nope! Not the case at all. Rather they tell me that they would have to pay full fare. That got me totally sick to my stomach.
That’s only one part. Then to turn around and offer dogs and puppies free freight? And they won’t offer assistance for families for their final respects? I feel for the Bethel area folks that have to deal with this complete nonsense. This makes no sense at all.
You won’t offer assistance to people paying a final respect yet you will give free freight? For a dog/puppy of all things? How at all is that fair? Like seriously? Wow!
A concerned and utterly disgusted person.
Jonella Jones, Anchorage, AK