Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Save the Puppies

Beautify CNMI has been trying to come up with a plan to solve the dead dog and stray dog problem on Saipan since our inception. This turned out to be a larger task than we expected, so we decided that it would be in our best interests to create a committee dedicated to this issue.

It is our hope that after solving the dead dog and stray dog issue that this committee will turn its attention to invasive species, biodiversity, and other issues related to animals.

The creation of the Animal Welfare committee was announced in today's Saipan Tribune:

Saipan Tribune, Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Beautify CNMI! adds animal welfare panel
By Marconi Calindas

Beautify CNMI! is adding a new facet to its environmental advocacy, this time by championing the responsible ownership of pets.

Rep. Cinta Kaipat, who is an officer of the group, told Saipan Tribune yesterday that they have created a new committee that would focus solely on animal welfare, with the tentative name of Animal Welfare Committee.

Despite disagreements among some members over the concept of incorporating animal welfare within the group, Kaipat said the majority accepted the idea of adding the committee.

The new panel joins the Restoration Committee, Recycling Committee, Public Information Committee, and Junk Cars Committee, among many others.

Kaipat said she is glad to have the expertise and voluntarism of PAWS officer Katie Busenkell to lead the newly formed committee. Under Busenkell's leadership, the committee will meet to outline its direction within the Beautify CNMI! concept.

“What I'd like to see is that the committee would work on responsible pet ownership and encourage the community to deal with animals more responsibly,” she said, expressing hope that roadkill on the islands' streets would be minimized.

Kaipat said the campaign group would be working closely with the Saipan Mayor's Office on this matter.

She said she has also spoken with the Tinian Mayor's Office, which already implemented its stray dog policies in November 2006. She discussed with Dr. Thomas Arkle Jr. a possible collaboration with the group due to the successful implementation of the program on Tinian.

Tinian's dog control regulations took effect after being published in the Commonwealth register in October 2006 and posting of the required public notices. A colorful tri-fold brochure is available at many island locations describing the basic features of the program.

The program is now being implemented in stages, according to the Tinian Mayor’s Office, with the first stage involving the licensing of privately owned dogs. All residents were required to register their dogs and purchase the required license tags at the Tinian Mayor’s Office.

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