In Melbourne, I remember that there would always be a family or two that kept pet dogs as an extra Security measure along with the sensitive lights, the padlocked screen wire doors, the alarm system, the car alarm system, the strobe lights and a sensitive alarm trigger at various points of the house property – NOT that I was some sort of cat-burglar, but the ugly contraptions were easy to spot out and visiting my palagi friends houses there would be those security-camera-like sensors all over the house.
In Samoa, the only security we need comes in the form of mans best friend – the dog.
Every house on my street in Vaitele, has at least 2 dogs – bigger houses have at most 5 or 6 dogs and not the cute fluffy type of dogs – but the vicious bite-your-head-off-because-I’m-hungry type of dogs.
I’ve been lucky not to have been bitten yet by a dog – safe to say that even if you go for a walk around Vaitele – YOU NEED to walk with a stick to fend off any stray dogs that may come out of nowhere – early morning exercises is the typical time of dog attacks and the fact that the stray dogs tend to have lice and sometimes rabies – it is most probably the scariest thing besides the Samoan Police.
This week, APS (Animal Protection Society) and Animal Balance are gearing up to begin its biggest ever desexing campaign, with the 3 week long project due to begin this Wednesday 24th February. The APS will be joined by 18 Volunteers from international welfare organization Animal Balance, with some volunteers traveling to Samoa from as far away as the Caribbean.
During this first campaign, it is estimated that over 500 dogs and cats will be desexed in an attempt to control these animal populations in an effective and humane way, with previous culling campaigns proving unsuccessful at long-term control. All the animals that are desexed will also be treated for intestinal worms and external parasites like fleas, which will help to prevent infections in humans with dog worms. And for the first time ever, the volunteer team will be capturing and desexing stray, roaming dogs around Apia, as well as owned dogs that are brought to the clinics.
And also, just on a more personal note, Samoa has this problem of stray dogs and I sincerely hope that this program causes (at least awareness) but the need to address this issue – the stray dogs that roam around Apia become a problem for all Samoans – and effectively the worst at risk is our children.
I’ll be back to update on the progress and hopefully some positive and great results.