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Tag: impoundment

Montana reservation conducting month-long “round-up” of stray dogs

Bison can roam free on the Fort Belknap Indian reservation in Montana.

Dogs aren’t so lucky.

The reservation’s Fish & Wildlife office began a “dog round-up” on July 25, capturing dogs that aren’t chained, kenneled or leashed and impounding them.

At least they say they are impounding them. Rescue organizations are actually bearing that responsibility, since the reservation doesn’t have an animal shelter.

RezQ Dogs, a non-profit shelter in Dodson, has brought in 19 dogs from the reservation and is attempting to find them new homes, according to its co-founder, Jim Wilke.

“Making the animals pay, killing the animals, it’s not the answer,” said Wilke. “Enforcing the laws, passing better laws is…whether it’s this community or anywhere in the United States, you’re not going to solve it by creating a cycle of death.”

Now at full capacity, Wilke says he’s turning to other rescue shelters and rescues across Montana, including in Kalispell, Helena, and Missoula, for help.

Tribal officials announced the round up last month and put up posters stating that any dog not chained or kenneled will be impounded immediately.

According to Wilke, the reservation has no shelter, and at least one tribal council member has said the dogs would be killed.

“To stand by and do nothing…it’s just sad,” said Wilke. “These animals. Death for no reason. Most of these animals have done nothing wrong but be born.”

Stray dogs are a problem on the reservation, and often band together in packs.

“When you have a bunch of stray animals, it doesn’t matter, they can be the nicest animals in the world, the entire mentality changes when they pack up. You can see it in all animals, even people,” said Wilke.

But, he says, the dogs he has taken in have been docile.

“They’re wonderful animals,” he told KRTV in Great Falls.”They’ll get good homes. You would think we got a lot of feral animals but everybody that’s met them, they’re just amazed by how nice they are.”

The dog round-up is scheduled to end on August 20.