People for Animal Welfare and Safety, or PAWS, of Nome has been hard at work the past few weeks. With limited veterinary care in Nome and a large number of animals around town, they’ve been providing extra services to the four-legged members of our community.
Alyssa Wolf with PAWS said the organization has a few new members, and with temperatures cooling down, their most recent project was delivering wooden houses and straw to dogs in town that might not otherwise have shelter. But Wolf said they have other projects throughout the year.
“We did a dog walking program this summer and we walked several of the dogs around town that normally don’t get off their chain and they just loved it,” said Wolf. “They were so happy to be able to get off and walk.”
Wolf said it’s unhealthy and dangerous for a dog to be chained up for a long time without getting exercise. They can become aggressive because the inactivity causes their mental health to deteriorate. Wolf recommends regular exercise for your safety and your dog’s health.
“Even twice a week take your dog off and run them or walk them. That helps,” she said.
Wolf said PAWS would like to get an animal control officer in Nome and change some city animal ordinances that they feel are too broad—such as what proper animal shelter looks like and how often animals should be fed.
And PAWS is involved in a lot more than just general animal care. They’ve also been acting to address the medical needs of pets in the community, partnering with organizations like Alaska Rural Veterinary Outreach, or ARVO. On request, ARVO can visit to host spay and neuter clinics, or provide veterinary care on a temporary basis. Wolf said Everett’s Air Cargo has a useful program where you can fly your dog round trip to Anchorage for $50 if you need to visit an animal hospital. She doesn’t think many people know about the program, but she’s seen it utilized in emergencies.
Paws is hoping to help with the vaccination clinic this winter, which is where you can get your pet license and a number of necessary shots.
“Generally, the first parvo vaccine—or it’s also called the 5-in-1 shot—has distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and parainfluenza. That’s the 5-in-1 shot and generally the first vaccine is given at 68 weeks of age,” said Wolf.
In addition to shots, she said it’s incredibly important to spay or neuter your pet. If you don’t, female dogs can get pyometra, which is fatal, and male dogs can get cancer.
“I don’t think people understand that their dog can get very sick from not being spayed or neutered,” said Wolf. “Also, the population. There are so many unwanted animals within the United States. Breeding is not something that needs to be done considering there are litters of puppies just being killed because they don’t have room and resources to take care of them.”
Wolf said PAWS is planning a spay and neuter clinic in Nome for next spring.