The Dogs With No Names project started in 2009 as a scientific pilot program to humanely reduce the population of unwanted dogs on two First Nations communities in southern Alberta. For the first time ever, contraceptive implants inserted under the skin of female dogs, many of them semi-feral and feral in nature, was used as a form of birth control to prevent vast numbers of unwanted pups from being born in the first place.
Every implanted dog also receives a microchip for permanent identification to monitor survival and reproductive activity over a three-year period. In addition, dog food, deworming tablets and a rabies vaccine are also provided.
The Dogs With No Names project has successfully implanted nearly 300 female dogs and prevented the birth of hundreds of thousands of unwanted puppies. Although it was initiated with the hopes of doing just that, much more has emerged as a result. The project is now internationally renowned and endorsed across the world. The Dogs With No Names team was invited by the Innu Nation of Sheshatshiu, Labrador in the spring of 2013 to join forces with the Government of Newfoundland to help deal with the dog population as it represented a community safety and health issue. It was a very successful joint effort – over 200 dogs were handled, friends were made, and a safer community emerged as a result of fewer roaming and packing dogs.
Going forward, Dogs With No Names team, thanks to the huge collaboration of many stakeholders in Ontario and a large grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada ($206,000) is leading a field project in six communities of James and Hudson Bay (2015-2016) to tame the overpopulation of unwanted dogs in remote communities, humanely and sustainably.