Tiffany Macintosh in Boggabilla
This program aims to improve the health and safety of Aboriginal children and families through the implementation of an integrated companion animal health program in rural Aboriginal communities in NSW. The program provides veterinary services to communities who might otherwise not be able to access them, as well as presenting important educational concepts relating to human and animal health and well-being.
Indigenous Community Dog Health Program services include:
This program is usually developed and delivered with Environmental Health Officers from the Population Health Unit of the regional Area Health Service. Human health services are involved to enhance and promote the idea of “Healthy Dogs, Healthy Community”. Studies have shown that improvements in animal health and welfare can directly affect that of their human companions. Decreasing levels of zoonotic (transmissible) skin and gastrointestinal disease of dogs will be reflected in the human population. Also limiting the population of wandering dogs will bring improvement in associated problems, such as dog bites, excessive environmental faecal matter with potential for disease spread, as well as excessive noise and stock attacks.
Communities visited so far include Boggabilla, Bourke, Bowraville, Brewarrina, Collarenebri, Enngonia, Gingie, Goodooga, Ivanhoe, Jabullum, Namoi, Purfleet, Taree, Toomelah, Walgett, Walhallow, Weilmoringle and Wilcannia.
Funding may come from Government grants, Area Health Services and Aboriginal Land Councils, as well as in-kind contributions from local Shire Councils and Aboriginal Health Services. However, the true cost has been heavily subsidised by the RSPCA. There is currently no permanent funding for future programs, and they are only operating on an ad-hoc basis, instead of the more desirable repeatable sustainable way. This will negatively impact and compromise the effectiveness of the work we have done so far. Contributions to keep this valuable program operational are gratefully accepted.
For more information about the Indigenous Community Dog Health Program, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org