In April 2011, it was brought to our attention that animals at the impound in Cass Lake were in dire need of assistance and that resources were very limited for the Leech Lake Tribal Police who managed the impound. There was not a program in place to re-home the animals that were brought into the impound as surrenders or strays. A woman named Lisa had been single-handedly transporting and placing as many dogs as she could, since the fall of 2010, but it just was not possible for her to keep up. She reached out to Karen Good of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue for guidance, and Karen forwarded the request to her circle of animal-loving friends. Jenny Fitzer answered that request.
On May 7, 2011, Jenny and four other volunteers from the Twin Cities drove to the impound in Cass Lake and met with CSO Haaland and two other officers from Leech Lake Tribal Police. The nine dogs in the impound were transported back to the Twin Cities and transferred to rescues and shelters to be vetted, spayed/neutered, and placed up for adoption.
After that first transport, Jenny and Marilou Chanrasmi discussed what could be done to provide the greatest assistance to the animals of Leech Lake Reservation. Together, they founded Leech Lake Legacy.
We hosted our first spay and neuter clinic on Leech Lake Reservation in March 2012, where 91 animals were altered, vaccinated and microchipped, and an additional 75 animals were vaccinated and microchipped. We also took in 49 surrendered animals during the two-day clinic and transported them to Twin Cities shelters.
Read Jenny's original blog post about the beginnings of Leech Lake Legacy here.