#176 – Canada’s Dog Days

Canada has what can only be described as a third-world problem: aggressive dogs. I’m not fucking kidding – Shane Glada’s corpse was found mauled by dogs (the linked story is helladisturbing and not for the faint of heart) in Ross River, YK. And this community is hardly the only one where these attacks are known to happen. Reserves routinely suffer from feral dogs fighting for scarce resources, indicating that Canada can not only murder Indigenous dogs with impunity but also can neglect people to such a degree that they become prey for wild animals. Good job, Canada. Way to leave people feeling like they need to be armed to go outside, putting you at the same table as Mogadishu.

So how does Canada deal with failing basic human security needs of the sort most notably experienced by actual fucking cavemen? With racism, of course! In settler society the norm is to blame the Indigenous for their problems. In this case racism gets devolved to the lazy trope – dem dumm injins don’t get their pets spayed, therefore somehow they are deserving of death by animal. Because as we all know it’s easy to transport dogs hundreds of miles on non-existent roads to get to a vet, right? In the context of collapsing housing and unstable food supplies obviously the right way to spend limited funds is to make an impossible trip to a strip mall in the name of getting Fluffy fixed. In the context of already hyper-inflated costs obviously dog food is priority number one!

When casual racism and flippant non-concern about the lives of others fails there’s Canada’s other method of dealing with the problem, a storied one in Canada’s fetid history. The typical response by Canada is the ever-popular culling. Offering $25 for a dog’s tail, the result of these amazingly-planned slaughters is a pile of corpses thrown all over. Yeah – Canada can’t even be assed to help dig a grave for rotting putrid dog-flesh, which of course totally has no negative repercussions for the community’s health. There’s no way that the whimpers of dying puppies causes any sort of mental harm, no sir.

(s) That said this is probably a fate worse than death for a dog

Where the rest of Canada can handle prehistoric threats to human life reserves apparently just aren’t worth the effort. Why provide money for dog-catchers when you can sacrifice children to the altar of laziness instead? A basic service offered almost automatically throughout Canada, spaying and neutering dogs falls to sporadic visits by volunteers on reserves. I’m hardly about to go off the handle on a bunch of people trying their best to get ahead of a problem they can’t possibly deal with on their own, but isn’t that fucking sad? Vounteer animal-lovers won’t cut through a culture of convenient ignorance affected by both Indian Affairs (or whatever it calls itself this week) and Health Canada and a shield of casual racism that Canada desperately pretends doesn’t exist.

This is a bit shorter than usual because honestly I think this speaks for itself. Animal control is a basic part of community life. The threats that feral animals bring are obvious and plentiful, from rabies and other obvious health risks (which of course reserves are totally unprepared and unequipped for) to the potential for attack. Canada’s only time being Johnny-on-the-Spot with the problem was when it tried to slaughter the Inuit sledding dog so as to foster reliance on Ottawa totally protect the Inuit you guys. Even if the Arses were being honest about their intent back in the 1960s what does it say about Canada that it can’t provide a solution that doesn’t involve slicing tails off of dogs so that people can afford an extra helping of overpriced Kraft Dinner?

Is there no more callous way to declare that you don’t care about a population than to leave them to be mauled by dogs? We’ve managed to make animal control a norm in the rest of the country but apparently the provincial-federal slip (provinces deal with animal control while reserves are a federal “concern”) is just too big a problem to surmount. In the face of a country that leaves people in prehistoric conditions the best answer is racism, laziness, and feels.