The Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force works within the ABVMA by-laws by applying for a “Temporary Veterinary Facility” license for each clinic. This License is granted under special circumstances in order to address pet overpopulation in a targeted community. Our clinics must provide safe surgery and are operated with an adjunct veterinary clinic. The Task Force targets the larger, free roaming dogs living in First Nation communities that can pose a risk to community members or livestock and are normally less cared for. While these dogs may appear to be strays, most do have owners. Most dogs living in First Nations are allowed to roam freely and most owners do not have a fence or allow the dogs in their homes. Vets must be open to answering questions from community members and encouraging their participation. In many cases, this will be the owner’s first contact with a veterinarian. Vet and AHT students may be in attendance as well.
We require experienced small animal practitioners that are willing to work in a fast paced atmosphere under less than ideal conditions.
Veterinarians that are not known to the Responsible Veterinarian or another regular Task Force Veterinary Team Member will usually be more closely supervised until we know they are comfortable operating in the Task Force environment. This veterinarian may be scheduled with an experienced Task Force Veterinarian initially so that Task Force policies and procedures can be discussed, and also as a way to provide an opportunity for the more experienced team member to help them with any clinical skills they may need assistance with.
The clinics can be physically and mentally challenging.
Application Requirements: All veterinarians practicing in the practice of veterinary medicine must be active general members of the ABVMA. Temporary Vets are welcome to assist in some capacity. Please complete the Application Form below and state what type of license you hold with the ABVMA.
Positions are available in some areas depending on what year you are in. Sorry, we cannot provide any surgical shifts to vet students.
Accommodation: Accommodation will be provided to fully licensed vets at a motel in the nearest town or city for key veterinarians. Vets may be asked to share a room with a fellow vet or half of your room will be paid for should you prefer not to share. Most motels are very basic. Rooms are provided the night before an early shift. If you are volunteering for both days, a room will be paid for on the night of your late shift. Should the clinic day end late, a room will be provided if you do not feel comfortable driving home.
Food: Breakfast and lunch (and at most clinics dinner) are provided. All catering is provided by volunteers. We generally have an assortment of gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options although this is not guaranteed.
Travel: Vets and Vet Students are responsible for transportation costs.
Waiver: All Vets and Vet Students are required to sign a waiver and (optional) model release (just in case we publish a picture of you). The Alberta Spay Neuter Task force carries liability insurance only.
Responsible Veterinarian: A Responsible Vet will be on-site during the clinic hours and will ensure that the requirements for a Temporary Veterinary Facility as set out by the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association are adhered to. The clinic is under the direction and control of the Responsible Vet.
Protocols: The Task Force has protocols in place to ensure the safety of the animals. We ask that you follow our protocols. Should you have any questions, they may be directed to the Responsible Veterinarian.
Temporary Vets: Please be advised that some vets participating at the clinic may be clinical examiners for the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association. These vets must not have had prior contact with any Temporary Veterinarians whom they are testing.
Orientations: An orientation, directions to the clinic, accommodation information, and schedule will be emailed to you by the Medical Manager prior to the clinic.
Shifts: Most clinics take place on weekends. Volunteers gather animals Friday morning in order to begin surgery Friday at 1pm. We have up to 11 surgery tables operating at once and 2-3 vets providing pre anesthetic health checks (exams) per shift.
Saturday: 8am – 6pm (or come for a half day shift)
Sunday: 8am until finish. This can be as late as 6pm.
Pre Anesthetic Health Checks:
Saturday: 8am – 6pm
Sunday: 8am until finish. This can be as late as 6pm.
The Task Force’s suggested time frames for the following procedures are:
Canine Castration: 30 minutes
Feline Spay, Canine and Feline Cryptorchid Castration: 45 minutes
Dog Spay (including pregnant, lactating, in heat): 60 minutes
Ideally, all animals will be under anesthetic for a short period of time in order to facilitate their return to their owners.
Please Note: That Task Force provides OVE surgery for suitable candidates. This will be explained in an orientation prior to surgery. Surgeons are not required to provide this type of surgery if they are not comfortable with it.
Shifts can be flexible depending on your availability. We appreciate you taking time to volunteer with the Task Force and the Medical Manager will gladly accommodate any hours that you are interested to help out. Also feel free to come visit a clinic and ‘observe’ if you want to get a feel for how a clinic runs before you volunteer for shifts.
Please note that there are other veterinary volunteer positions such as pre anesthetic health exams should you wish to participate.
NOTE: Clinics take place on weekends (Fri-Sun) and are in First Nation communities.