Animal rescue groups not in full support of mayors’ stray animal roundups

The number of stray animals on island is on the rise. (PNC file photo)

A few animal rescue groups on Guam had things to say about the stray animal roundups and some suggestions on how to improve the program.

Some rescue groups on the island are not in full support of the Mayors Council of Guam’s stray animal roundup.

The round-up is part of an initiative to address the stray dog problem that has afflicted the island for many years.

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Boonie Baby Foundation Founder Anna Van Seters also says that the roundup is just a short-term solution. She says her foundation neutered over 200 strays in a 10-month period.

The Boonie Baby Foundation’s mission is to reduce and prevent the overpopulation of strays on Guam. They do this through spaying and neutering assistance as well as educational awareness. They also strive to improve the quality of life of all pets and animals in the island community.

Van Seters says that a female unspayed dog will have 174 puppies yearly and a female cat can have 54 kittens by the end of a year.

She proposes that we educate the island on the importance of neutering and spaying strays.

“I think all mayors island-wide have to urge the community that we need to spay or neuter their outdoor pets that aren’t on a leash. If a pet owner can not afford to spay or neuter their outdoor pets you can contact us,” Van Seters said.

Meanwhile, Tina Marie Guzman, the founder of Guahan’s Paws for Pets, questions whether the mayors are doing the roundup humanely.

“Because we’ve got word on a couple of traps set up on some resident’s property that this animal was trapped and left there. No shelter to protect the strays from the heat. God only knows how long. We don’t know how often they check these traps. It is inhumane to do that,” Guzman said.

Guzman added that another issue with this whole roundup is that there is only one animal control officer employed at the Department of Agriculture.

She says if the government sought assistance from various groups on ways to address this issue, in the long run it would be beneficial to the welfare of stray animals on Guam.

Chong Mi Kim, an administrative officer of Guahan’s Paws for Pets says that they aren’t fully against the roundup but just want to find a long-term solution to the stray animal problem.