Monday, March 26, 2007

Beautify CNMI! Animal Welfare Committee

The Beautify CNMI! Animal Welfare Committee will be meeting this Thursday, March 29th at 6:15 pm at Cafe on the Park.

It is important that this committee get up and running. Some people in our community and government think animals are a small issue in the wake of rising CUC bills and a shrinking government. I think it is a small issue but a BIG problem.

Just this weekend, I encountered FOUR dogs that had been abandoned and left to die. Two of the dogs were hanging around roadways that are used by tourists: Airport Road and the road to Bird Island. I had received numerous phone calls about the dog that was abandoned at the airport. When I finally saw him this weekend, I couldn't help but wonder about the tourist that saw the dog shortly before departing and how this starving, suffering animal would be the tourist's last impression of the CNMI. What must our animal-friendly tourists think of our island and our people when they see a dog suffering this way? I saw the other dog on the road to Bird Island. He's in bad shape and in need of help. I'm willing to bet that his haunting presence polluted some one's vacation day, and if not their vacation day, maybe their pictures and/or view.

I'd like to get a group of people together who are willing to tackle animal related issues so our island is a safer and cleaner place to live. Ideally, we need a group of people who are willing to accomplish the following:

1. We need a spay and neuter clinic that is accessible to indigent people. If we don't start spaying and neutering animals on this island, than our efforts are futile. They can reproduce a lot faster than we can pick up after them.

2. We need to resolve the issue of dead animal pick-up. And, now that Dr. dela Cruz has his license to euthanize animals, we need to get a group of people together who are willing to pick up live abandoned animals. I know there are people out there would love to rescue them all - but that's not financially possible. Until we get a shelter that is up and running, euthanizing suffering, starving, and abandoned animals is a viable option that needs to be seriously considered and addressed.

3. We need a shelter - regardless of how primitive it is - we need some place to put animals so they may be euthanized and/or adopted. Also, if we are to start receiving grants to improve a shelter, we must first have an operating shelter.

4. We need animal related legislation, namely anti-cruelty legislation. As of today, it is legal to abandoned your unwanted dog in the jungle or at the beach, tether a dog and deprive it of food and/or water, and beat an animal to death or harshly/cruelly punish an animal. The residual of this behavior is seen by our tourists and felt by our communities. It needs to stop. The legislature must raise the bar and impose on members of the community a sense of responsibility to their animals and to the community.

Beautify CNMI ! would greatly appreciate your time and energy in accomplishing these goals so our island is a safer and cleaner place to live and visit.

Please, email me a time that is good for you and I will try to coordinate our schedules and come up with a meeting time that works for the majority.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kindest Regards,
Katie Busenkell

No comments: