Navajo vet program finding homes for pups, kittens
The puppies at the Navajo Veterinary Management Program are waiting to be adopted into their forever homes but in the meantime, they like swimming in something one wouldn’t expect: shredded office paper.
“It’s easier to clean up too and the puppies, they like to swim in the paper,” Olivia Holiday, the project specialist at the Navajo Veterinarian Management Program, said. “Just like babies, they like the feel of things. It worked out pretty good.”
The program does more than just veterinarian services these days. They take in puppies and kittens to rehome in places like Colorado, Utah and Phoenix.
“We get them up to health standards, vaccinating, deworming, sometimes we have some organizations that would like to have us spay and neuter them so we’ll do that,” she said.
The program works with no-kill shelters to find the cute little pups and kittens homes. The partnerships also help the program to get things donated like food, vaccines and spay or neutering.
The program has been trying to step up and help the ongoing issue of stray or unwanted animals on the Navajo Nation.
“Puppies I bring in from everywhere,” Holiday said. “A lot of them are owner surrenders or strays that people found. Animal Control has been calling me to pick up puppies too.”
There has been an influx of puppies recently and the program is asking for local offices to donate their shredded paper to the program. It will be used as bedding for the puppies.
The idea sprang from the program purging their old documents and wondering what they could use the shredded paper for.
“We have a lot of past documents here, probably years, so we didn’t know what to do with all the shredded paper,” Holiday, said, “until we’re like ‘Hey, we’ll just use it for the puppies, their bedding.’”
The shredded office paper has been so useful as bedding.
“It keeps them warm,” Holiday said with a smile.
A number of organizations have donated their shredded paper including the Department of Health, the Fish and Wildlife Department and a few others.
The program is also open to taking in older animals that are deemed adoptable. This means the animals don’t have any behavioral issues.
The program is also asking the community to donate old towels, blankets and if they can, animal food.
“This is not just our program, its the community’s program, so we try to get the community more involved,” she said. “We don’t have a big budget like other programs do and it’s one of the obstacles we’re trying to overcome.”
The program is located off Route 264 in Tse Bonito across from Rimrock. The program takes in donations Monday through Friday during office hours, which are from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.