Category Archives: James Bay

The Dogs Who Never Bit Us

Northern Dog Project 2015-16, James Bay, Canada

A dog carrying the Arctic fox strain of rabies was discovered in the James Bay coastal community of Kashechewan in 2013.

A humane and sustainable Dog Population Management (DPM) Project was initiated to prevent the spread of this deadly virus to animals and people in the remote and isolated communities of James Bay, namely Moosonee, Moose Factory, Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Fort Albany and to the north in Hudson Bay, Peawanuck.

The four pillars of our DPM consist in permanently and reliably identifying each dog with a microchip, stop the spread of relevant contagious diseases by vaccinating against rabies, parvovirus and distemper, and deworming to help maintain good body condition. In addition, we use a non-surgical fertility control method (contraceptive implant) in potentially fertile females to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies. As a bonus, one ton of dog food was distributed to the dogs in the region.

A formal dog registry was compiled for each of the six communities so a DPM plan can be tailored to their specific needs and abilities including practical solutions and measures for dog bite prevention.

Just over 600 dogs were handled and welcomed in this world premiere project using non-surgical contraceptives. It is with pride and pleasure, on behalf of all involved in this project, that Pearls 365 presents photos of some of these beautiful great Northern dogs at

Heartfelt gratitude to all who helped from close and afar: this project is the result of an immense collaboration of agencies, businesses, people who have proven that goodwill is alive and well (thank you Sam).

A special thank you to all the dogs who never bit us.

Dr. Judith Samson-French

Looking for Employment

When dogs become unemployed…

Only 50 years ago, a team of dogs was the only mode of transportation in remote communities of Northern Canada.

Several canine generations later, dogs are still part of the social fabric but their role has changed, no longer an essential component for survival…

How many dogs does a remote community wish to sustain (notwithstanding the high cost of food), how to prevent inbreeding and inherent health problems where vet care is not available, what methods of population control are best suited to each community, how to train dogs to become socially acceptable companions …

A great deal of understanding and respect for cultural values and animal welfare are required to optimize community health and safety for both humans and dogs. Good things are in the making…

Sled dog from a bygone era. Photo courtesy of the Cultural Centre of Moose Factory, James Bay, Ontario.