Origins - Warlukurlangu Artists Dog Program
The Dogs Program has been a long running program of Warlukurlanugu Artists. Initially implemented by the art centre in response to the huge number of dogs that had grown out of control in the Yuendumu community, The Warlukurlangu Dogs Program made it financially possible to implement and maintain the essential neutering and spaying of dogs as well as administer treatment for ticks and worms and vaccinate for contagious and potentially fatal diseases including Parvo. This financial commitment from Warlukurlangu Artists, coupled with the commitment by assistant manager Gloria Morales, formed the basis for beginning to the population and health of dogs in Yuendumu community. Over time, with the support of GMAAAC, The Central Land Council and generous donations from the public and private sectors, this program has expanded to encompass not only Yuendumu but also Nyirripi, Yuelamu and surrounding areas, leading to happy, healthy animals and people in community.
Dog and animal welfare is deeply important to the aboriginal community of Yuendumu. Dogs living in the community are brought in by families for de-sexing, vaccines and worming treatments when the vets come for their quarterly visits and also receive medical intervention when necessary. People frequently turn up at the art centre or Gloria’s house with sick or injured dogs and cats as well as a variety of wildlife and animals. Gloria is well respected in the community and people are keen to engage with her to keep their dogs and animals healthy, safe and well cared for. Visiting vets are well received in the participating communities and families are open to having their dogs and cats neutered and spayed.
Caring for dogs from home and in the community
Gloria’s home is open to any dog who requires medical care, fostering or re-homing. She regularly has drop-off’s at home and the art centre from people in Yuendumu and surrounding communities, whether it be for dogs and puppies with illnesses and injuries or strays that have been lost or abandoned.
As well as having access to in town medical support, Yuendumu community also benefits from weekend drive arounds to check on any dogs that are sick and recovering with their own families. Food is also provided for the dogs at various houses and out in the streets to ensure that they are all feed and are healthy. This also provides an opportunity to check the condition of the dogs, remove ticks, educate people in the community and pick up any sick animals to take home to tend. This support is also provided for neighboring town, Nyirripi.
De-sexing and vet visits
Steven Cutter from the Arc Animal Hospital in Darwin visits our participating communities every three months as part of Aussie Desert dogs desexing program. Different vets have been working with Gloria since 2007, during which time the dog population has more than halved due to the program!
As well as neutering and spaying cats and dogs, Steven and his team tend to sick animals, undertake operations and vaccinate and worm the animals. they even give haircuts to fluffy pooches! As one of the founders of AMRRIC (Animal Management in Remote and Rural Indigenous Communities), Steven often brings volunteer vets and nurses with him to assist during the week long visit.
Educating the community
Dogs are an integral part of community life and Gloria has spent many years working closely with children and adults to teach them how to care properly for their dogs and maintain their good health and well being. This has impacted on the community as a whole, forging strong relationships, good animal maintenance and healthy animals and people.