DOAG to ask Interior for funds to support stray animal roundup

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

The Department of Agriculture has moved forward with the Stray Animal Roundup in Santa Rita.

The roundup is part of a plan to address the stray dog problem that has plagued the island for years.

Chelsa Muna-Brecht, the director of the Guam Department of Agriculture, updated the members of the Islandwide Beautification Task Force Tuesday morning on the roundup.

While they can still operate the roundup with limited resources, Muna-Brecht says they are still submitting a proposal by April 1 to the Department of Interior for funding. While the proposal does not include hiring additional staff, they could purchase more traps, snares, and medicines and address other aspects of the program.

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“We are also working on obtaining and renewing the licensure for the territorial veterinarian because he doesn’t have the same USDA and local medicine or vaccination licensure. So we are renewing that,” Muna-Brecht said.

In the meantime, they are not letting funding limitations stop them from continuing roundup efforts in Santa Rita and then other villages.

Guam has a huge stray dog population and the Department of Agriculture has estimated that there are around 60,000 stray dogs all over the island.

Muna-Brecht says the team picked up ten dogs and 3 cats last week and they were all delivered to GAIN.

Muna-Brecht says Agriculture also initiated outreach with the community, advising them to register their pets and to keep them tied or behind fences so that they are not caught up during the roundup.

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“The way the program started last week is that all of the mayors have dedicated one staff to assist with the roundup in one village. So the way they are working in Santa Rita right now —- the mayors bring whatever supplies they have in the forms of kennels, the manpower, and vehicles. They then set the traps working with our animal control officers and capture dogs,” Muna-Brecht said.