PAWS President and Beautify CNMI's Animal Welfare Chair, Katie Busenkell, recently returned from an animal welfare conference sponsored by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) in Samoa. WSPA is a United Nations partner.
As a Pacific Island Society Member, WSPA invited PAWS to attend the conference to learn about animal welfare education in the Pacific region, as well as animal control methods and working with local governments.
The conference was held from July 28-30. Pacific island delegates included Samoa, American Samoa, Papa New Guinea, the Cook Islands, Majuro, Fiji, and Saipan. A Vanuatu delegate was scheduled to give a presentation during the conference, but missed his flight.
Also in attendance were representatives from the Australia Queensland RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), New Zealand RSCPA, and WSPA directors from Australia, the United Kingdom, and Asia.
Busenkell said, “It was a great opportunity for PAWS to learn more about how to educate children about the importance of responsible pet ownership. We also learned a great deal about effective methods of animal control, not all of which require spaying and neutering.”
“Believe it or not, animal welfare taints our tourism industry, and property values, while also raising public health and safety concerns. Collectively, the community needs to change their approach to animals. With the help of organizations like WSPA and the United States Humane Society, PAWS is willing and able to help people do just that – change the way they treat animals in a manner that benefits the community and the animals.”