Although Lakota Animal Care Project was not established as a rescue organization, over the past several years we rescued more than 600 dogs who would otherwise have almost certainly died. Below are a few of the many dogs rescued by the Lakota Animal Care Project who all now have wonderful loving homes!
Because of the number of dogs on the Reservation and the lack of enough funds to spay/neuter the number of dogs necessary to bring the population under control, the Tribal Government has had a longstanding practice of rounding up dogs several times a year, loading them into trailers and taking them to the landfills where they are shot. On average several hundred dogs were killed every year. This practice took place for decades. Many Tribal elders and others complained that this practice was inhumane and did not show the traditional respect for all our relations.
In 2013, the Lakota Animal Care Project signed a historic legal agreement with the Tribal Government that put an end to this practice. Many Tribal members concerned both for the dogs and the message that the violent approach was sending to children celebrated this occasion. It marked the beginning of a new era where a humane solution to the dog over-population problem was sought through intensifying spay/neuter and through relocating unwanted dogs to shelters off the Reservation where they would all be adopted.
Lakota Animal Care Project was able to rescue and relocate hundreds of dogs a year-- transporting them to shelters and rescue groups as far away as Minneapolis and Colorado where 100% were adopted.
Tragically, we were not able, for lack of sufficient funds, to relocate and spay/neuter as many as needed to control the population. Although the Tribal Government has demonstrated its strong preference to implement a humane solution to bring the dog population under control, given that there are not enough resources to do more spay/neuter clinics and more relocations, the Tribal Government returned to the practice of dog round ups.
Lakota Animal Care Project no longer has a large relocation program. Another group based in Nebraska called Lightshine (www.lightshinepineridge.org) is dedicated to this and they have more funds and capacity to do this.
Lakota Animal Care Project will continue with a small rescue program for dogs in urgent need of help. Those in truly dire straits. Although we have no shelter and no building, we have and will continue to offer a warm place to sleep inside our van or wherever we can until we can get a dog in desperate need to a foster home or to one of our partners who have shelters or to rescue groups who have the capacity to care for the dog.