The mission of Alaska Rural Veterinary Outreach, Inc. is to reduce the overpopulation of homeless pets in rural Alaskan villages. We provide low-to-no-cost veterinary services to rural pets where such services are not available. Services include spay-neuter surgery, Rabies and core vaccines, deworming, basic healthcare, humane euthanasia for age, health, quality of life reasons, and education about responsible animal care.
For decades, rural pets have been out of sight, out of mind. Without veterinary care and an aggressive spay-neuter program, the overpopulation of unwanted pets, especially dogs, reaches critical levels in many villages. An untold number of unwanted litters are born annually, many destroyed for lack of homes. Those that survive may roam the village in packs, foraging for food, breeding more litters, and contributing to the high exposure to both canine and human diseases, such as Rabies, Parvo-Distemper, and parasite infestation. Sadly, rural Alaska has the highest incidence of dog bites in the nation.
To control dog populations, villages may have an ongoing bounty on shooting loose dogs, or typically hold periodic dog roundup days, during which all loose dogs are destroyed. It is a traumatic and sometimes inhumane event.
ARVO's mission is to provide a humane, effective way to control rural dog populations, through prevention rather than destruction. We do this with spay neuter surgery, a Helping Hand, and education.
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Many female dogs in rural villages have 2 litters a year, often 8 or 10 puppies per litter, (year after year), and there are untold numbers of unwanted dogs. There are not enough homes for all these puppies, and many are destroyed or abandoned. If they do survive, they mature into unsocialized strays that contribute to a high incidence of dog bites, and exposure to disease and parasite infestation. They roam in packs looking for food, continue breeding among themselves, and also breed owned dogs that are chained up. They are vulnerable to starvation, dehydration, hypothermia, disease and predation. They have an abnormally short lifespan. It is a tragic, inhumane quality of life for the animals, and results in safety and health issues for the community.
Most rural villages are subsistence based and very low income. Small local governments do not have the money for a managed animal control department. Consequently, the prevailing means of controlling the animal population is to conduct dog-round-up days: all loose dogs are shot. Frequently a bounty is paid for each dog that is killed. It is not unusual for owned dogs to accidentally be destroyed on dog round up days.
We believe that the best long-term solution is prevention rather than destruction. We organize all-volunteer medical teams that travel to villages (where invited) and provide low-to-no-cost basic veterinary services, with an emphasis on spay-neuter, Rabies and core vaccines, deworming, humane euthanasia of owned pets for quality of life purposes, and education for pet owners.
ARVO is an all-volunteer organization, and all donations go directly toward operating expenses, especially medications, drugs, supplies, and transportation to remote communities.
Pick Click Give donors who donate to Alaska Rural Veterinary Outreach will be supporting and sharing a mission of compassion towards rural pets and their people who have, for decades, gone without humane veterinary care. Thank you.