Navajo Council Has No Puppy Love
John Denver had a big hit with his “Rocky Mountain High,” but the Navajo Nation Council’s rendition might not be so popular.
Critics suggest the council’s lack of action could lead to an epidemic of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Stray dogs are a common sight in every reservation community and that could lead to a major problem, according to the Navajo Nation Veterinary and Livestock Program. The program had requested $126,415 from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund to operate its mobile unit.
“I don’t know why the Navajo Nation Council voted it down,” said Delegate Jonathan Hale, who sponsored the legislation. “I assume they felt the money can be best used on other issues. But the council is missing a change to prevent something that could mushroom into a big problem”
The dogs themselves are not the source of a potential malady, but rather a tiny bloodsucking pest that could be hitching a ride on the canine strays.
More stray dogs also means the potential for more infected ticks.
It could be a time-bomb. A single bite from an infected tick could set off a dilemma.
There have been at least 240 cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – including 20 deaths.
In 2013-2014 the Navajo Nation had 10 positive or probable cases of the fever. But so far in 2015-2016, with the mobile unit in action, there have been zero cases according to Glenda Davis.
Davis is program manager for the veterinary and livestock program.
The unit was scheduled to visit 28 chapters this year to provide spay and neutering services. But, the lack of funding will ground the mobile unit, Davis said.
“I am very disappointed,” Davis said. “The direct chapter services will be discontinued. We have no operating budget.”