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'At a critical point': Manitoba Animal Alliance rescues dog with collar embedded in neck

A stray dog found with a collar embedded in its neck is recovering after the successful efforts of a Manitoba animal rescue group.

"Soffie" was first spotted near Little Grand Rapids, Man. in February 2023. The Manitoba Animal Alliance (MAA) was in the community at the time running a birth control and vaccine clinic for pets when they received reports of a stray dog with an embedded collar in the area.

"The RCMP and a lot of the local members could not catch her," said Debra Vandekerkhove, MAA managing director.

The MAA worked with the community at that time to catch Soffie, but were unsuccessful. "We assumed she had died," said Vandekerkhove.

The dog was seen again last week, when the non-profit organization received a photo from a Little Grand Rapids community member. Vandekerkhove knew it was the same dog. "We said 'we know this dog, we've been looking for her since February!'"

The group immediately began making plans to fly out to the remote community. "The only way to catch the dog was to get on a plane and get up there," said Vandekerkhove.

Flight costs were covered by Little Grand Rapids First Nation chief and council. "We are very grateful to them and to the community for letting us know exactly where she was," said Vandekerkhove, adding that it took another two days to finally track down and catch Soffie.

Vandekerkhove said the dog's breathing was raspy and her throat dripping from infection. She had a collar severely embedded in her neck, causing a lot of pain.

"She was probably owned at one time when she was smaller and then she became a semi-feral roaming stray dog," said Vandekerkhove. "The collar became embedded into her neck to the point where her windpipe and her life was being affected as it was tightening up."

Soffie was flown back to Winnipeg and treated at the Centennial Animal Hospital. Vandekerkhove said veterinary surgeons were able to completely remove the collar. "It looks like we've almost re-attached a brand new head because she's fully stitched right around," said Vandekerkhove.

The dog will stay at the animal hospital indefinitely until she recovers. "She's still at a critical point. We're not sure what's going on underneath the stitching but were going to keep her at the vet until she does better." said Vandekerkhove.

"She's still a little bit unsure of people but she's getting better and better."

Anyone wishing to make a donation to help with Soffie's recovery can do so at the Manitoba Animal Alliance website. Top Stories

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