GAIN on stray animal population: “you feed it, you own it”

The pack of stray dogs in Tiyan. Contributed photo

As a means to control the island’s stray animal population and to stress the importance of responsible pet ownership, Guam Animals In Need, primarily known as GAIN, is reminding the community of the local law where if you feed a dog for consecutively for a certain number of days, then you are responsible for the dog.

Lauren Cabrera, the president of GAIN, shared simple methods with the Pacific News Center to keep the stray animal population levels low.

“You feed it, you own it,” said Cabrera.

Lauren Cabrera, president of Guam Animals In Need, posed with a stray dog in a kennel in the Yigo animal care facility. Photo courtesy of GAIN

With the island facing an ongoing issue of stray animals, she reminds the community to take simple steps to ensure that the stray population does not grow.

“Guam law stipulates that if you feed a dog for three days, you legally become its owner,” according to Cabrera.

The issue that occurs is that as people feed the “community dog” or stray animal, then it can contribute to the overpopulation problem as people are providing the strays with the recourses necessary for reproduction and survival.

To aid in the fight against the overpopulation she is stressing the importance of taking responsibility for the community pet by keeping them sterilized and contained.

Another tip that Cabrera shared is for the community to clean up their trash.

She said that the trash is often consumed by dogs and contributes to the growing dog population. With those feeding the strays often leaving behind food bags and containers.

“The amount of loose trash on Guam is a significant factor in the problem of overpopulation,” Cabrera said.

She urges the community to prioritize island beautification efforts to improve the health of the island and to enhance the tourist experience.

To aid in the fight, individuals can also spay or neuter their pet with GAIN’s SNIP clinic.

Appointments can be made by visiting or by calling 671-653-4246.