Founded in 2011 by community based volunteers at Pine Ridge who had been helping rez pets for many years, the Oglala Pet Project (OPP) helps community members and their pets through education, spay/neuter support, pet health resources, and the re-homing or networking of abandoned, abused or unwanted pets on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Animals have played an important role in Lakota history. Dream catchers also have significance and most Native Americans believe the dream catcher holds the destiny of the future. Many people have a dream catcher above their bed to sift their dreams and visions. The good is captured in the web of life and carried with the people, but the evil in their dreams drops through the hole in the web and are no longer a part of their lives. The OPP logo captures the good of our animal friends.
Pine Ridge is one of the poorest communities in the country, with an 85% unemployment rate, an even higher alcoholism rate and some homes have no electricity or running water. Some families are overcrowded in homes caring for each other and most pets live their entire lives outside. It is our goal to work through community member volunteers to enhance the quality of life for pets through education, spay/neuter support, pet health resources, and the re-homing of abandoned, abused or unwanted pets.
To help community members care for their animals and improve the quality of life for pets through education, spay/neuter support, pet wellness assistance, and the re-homing or networking of abandoned, abused or unwanted pets on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
- Humane Education - OPP offers humane education programs to community members through wellness clinics and school programs on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation—Programs are focused on proper pet care, dog bite prevention, importance of spay/neuter, and various age specific sessions
- Pet Food Bank - OPP maintains a clearinghouse of dog and cat food available to community members who could not otherwise afford food for their pets
- Fix 'em Please - Spay/Neuter - OPP offers resources and guidance to community members on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation about the spay/neuter their pets, we maintain a clearinghouse of vet groups, organizations, area vet clinics and pet coalitions offering low cost surgery, and in the near future we'll be offering grant assistance for those who cannot afford to fix their dogs or cats
- Pet Wellness Clinics - OPP helps make basic pet care—supplies, vaccinations, dewormer, flea & tick and mange treatments—available to Pine Ridge community members who cannot afford to travel to the nearest vet clinic over 60 miles away while coordinating their efforts through CHR/Tribal Animal Control
- Re-Homing of Unwanted Pets: OPP offers assistance in placing or networking for abandoned, abused or unwanted pets from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, OPP can only accept owner surrendered pets as foster space is available but they also work with area partners, rescues and shelters organizations to help, AND to view the pets available for adoption go to our 'Adopt from OPP page'.