Dog Population Management and Dog Bite Prevention in Rural and Remote Northern Saskatchewan Aboriginal Communities
Dhillon, Jasmine M 1974-
Communities employ a wide variety of methods to reduce critical encounters and dog population numbers. However, systematic studies evaluating the success of approaches and techniques are currently lacking. Nor has significant consideration of community decision-making processes and policy development, or of the long-term sustainability of these programs been completed. Therefore, to assess the perception of dog-related issues, methods of policy creation and implementation, and true within-community dog demographic characteristics and rate of aggressive encounters a community-based research project was developed. A multiphase, convergent mixed methods study design in four separate northern Saskatchewan communities was implemented to evaluate these concerns. Methods of community-driven policy creation and implementation were recorded, management plans and strategies were monitored, and options were evaluated for successful reduction in dog bites and violent encounters. Community-based participatory methods created exchange and discussion with all levels of society, providing in-depth two-way channels for knowledge translation for researchers and community members. Policy creation and implementation was found to vary significantly between communities. Policies surrounding dog ownership and bite prevention are often dependent upon perceived risks for imminent human-canine aggressive encounters. Regrettably, sustainable interventions require sustained key community partner support and resource access. Community engagement and knowledge translation creates long-term, trusting relationships permitting more in-depth understanding of group choices. In addition, involving community members in research and data collection provides public appreciation of the scope and breadth of community issues and opinions. Enabling and empowering communities entails constant communication and education of all parties. No single model can be effective in all situations. Although enforceable legislation and widespread canine sterilisation are key aspects for community dog issues, comprehensive all-inclusive community education is indispensable. Wide-spread education and communication have the potential to dramatically decrease the number of aggressive dog:human encounters and fulfil goals for dog-human relationships that occur in indigenous communities in Canada.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
DepartmentLarge Animal Clinical Sciences
ProgramLarge Animal Clinical Sciences
CommitteeHarding, John; Morrison, Karen; Semchuk, Karen; Bharadwaj, Lalita
Copyright DateJune 2017