Veterinary care can be difficult to find in the remote stretches of Western Alaska. A veterinarian comes to Nome every six weeks, but other than that, the nearest veterinary care is in Anchorage, 500 miles and an hour-and-a-half-long flight away. PAWS of Nome, a non-profit pet rescue and advocacy organization based in Nome, has recently expanded services to several villages in the region.
“There’s a lot of anxiety around not having a full-time pet service here,” says PAWS of Nome vice president Amanda Snyder.
In partnership with the Bering Sea Humane Society, PAWS has provided services over the past three years through local clinics and send-out services. According to PAWS president Emily Stotts, veterinarians are only available in rural villages when sent out, and many people don’t even realize they have resources available to them.
“The expectation has been so low for pet care for so long, people might not even try to find help. We’re trying to make sure everyone’s getting what they need,” Stotts says.
Image at top: A dog from Savoonga under the care of PAWS. Photo courtesy of PAWS of Nome, used with permission.