Rabid foxes force Pangnirtung to increase effort to catch stray dogs

Disease has been on the rise in Nunavut this winter

The Hamlet of Pangnirtung is stepping up its efforts to catch stray dogs after an increase in rabid foxes in Nunavut. (File photo)

By David Lochead

The hamlet of Pangnirtung is stepping up measures to catch stray dogs because of the prevalence of rabid foxes in Nunavut, says Mayor Eric Lawlor.

“There’s quite a few dogs that have been running around stray,” he said.

Rabid, aggressive foxes have been a problem in Nunavut since November. The disease has been reported in seven foxes and five dogs, with the most recent incident on Wednesday in Coral Harbour. There, a fox was killed and two dogs euthanized after an attack.

If not treated immediately, rabies is almost always fatal. Pangnirtung’s health centre has vaccines on hand, says Lawlor.

Four residents and the hamlet’s bylaw officer make up the new group of dog catchers, and they will hold any catches for three days to give owners the chance to claim their dog before putting it down.

The hamlet is asking people to keep their dogs tied up at home, and report loose dogs to bylaw.

Previously, the hamlet would reach out to the Iqaluit Humane Society to see if it could take any caught dogs, but the organization shut down in September after its lease with the city was up.

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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by SJW on

    Honestly the safest method to deal with the rabid foxes and dogs is being done, despite the PETA activists. If a dog contracts rabies, even vaccinated for rabies, it is often fatal, the humane thing is to euthanize the animals. Animal lover or not, the risk of a child being mauled by a rabid fox or dog (s) is a risk no one should be taking. I 100% support Pang’s decision and hope Iqaluit follows suit.

    • Posted by Karen on

      The Iqaluit Humane Society is NOT closed and can still help with dogs. Please reach out to them

  2. Posted by IHS Still Running on

    Just wanted to clarify that the Iqaluit Humane Society (IHS) did not shut down and their lease did not simply end. They were evicted due to the City deeming the building unsafe and needing to be torn down in order to rebuild. The IHS; however, still runs without a building and is solely dependent on foster homes and volunteers.

  3. Posted by False Information on

    The last paragraph is misleading. The Iqaluit Humane Society is still taking in dogs from other communities. They don’t have a building to house them in but from my understanding, they look for fosters.

  4. Posted by Name withheld on

    Back in 1990s I remember hamlet would hire locals to drive around town and shoot stay dogs regardless whos dog it was , and they shot a cop dog lol

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