24 Apr 2013

Call for task force to deal with American Samoa stray dogs

2:31 pm on 24 April 2013

The government in American Samoa has been asked to re-establish a task force to deal with the territory's stray dog problem.

A dog eradication task force had once been set up under the department of agriculture, but funding for it stopped.

A lawmaker, Larry Sanitoa, says stray dogs are a serious and on-going issue and a task-force is needed to deal with it.

He says the dogs are a health hazard and some people are afraid to walk or run in certain areas because of large packs of dogs.

"Because of the fact that we don't have an animal control programme right now there is a greater potential of people getting sick because those animals are out there. They're sick and yet we're not able to take em off the street and put em to sleep, if that's the case or treat em, or whatever the situation is."

Larry Sanitoa says the public also needs to be educated on humane ways to control the dog population, like spaying and neutering their dogs.

However, he says the veterinarian services for the public were also closed down a couple of years ago, when one of the only vets in American Samoa retired.