This June, we were SO happy to land in Bella Coola once again, finally, after COVID delays! Bella Coola is a remote community in the mountains of the Bella Coola Valley in British Columbia. There closest veterinarian is a 6 hour drive through mountain roads, sometimes inaccessible in winter months. Due to finances, location or both, many of the pet owners in this community have limited to no access to veterinary care. This was our second visit to Bella Coola and they were more than ready for our return!
The Nuxalk First Nation donated the space of their beautiful Nuxalk Hall for us to set up our temporary "field" hospital. People came in steadily each day and we were able to sterilize 145 pets in 4 days. The people of Bella Coola were so lovely. There are many pet owners who love their pets and were anxious to access our services. They are very happy to have their pet have surgery and preventative care done when they are given the opportunity.
We do not charge for our services as most of the community members are unable to pay for them. Our team is all volunteers and they give up their vacation time and skills to provide the needed care. One of our biggest challenges is getting our volunteers from where they live to connecting flights to get to the remote locations. Our Aeroplan points are what help to get us there. Without the donated points, we would not be able to do as much as we do in as many communities as we can. The Aeroplan donation program is a HUGE part of the success of these clinics.