18 Apr 2017

New shelter set up for Samoa's stray dogs

3:24 pm on 18 April 2017

Samoa has a new facility to shelter and train stray dogs.

The shelter, at Tafaigata, is the first of its kind for Samoa and replaces a temporary shelter at Vaitele that was established in June 2014.

It was opened by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, last week.

Our correspondent, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, said the shelter would have facilities to train dogs for service roles, and to be rehomed as pets.

The shelter is the first of its kind in the country and Autagavaia said the Prime Minister said, at the opening of the shelter, that stray dogs could even be trained to help fight crime.

"He was specifically [mentioned] apprehending thieves which is a very common offence in the country."

The Prime Minister also said training dogs in the Samoa would save the government money because they wouldn't have to rely on dogs that were trained in New Zealand to be sent over.

dog

NZ is funding Samoa's dog control programme Photo: supplied

Autagavaia said the new shelter was a constructive way of dealing with Samoa's stray dog issue.

"It's a very positive move, not only for the protection of locals and tourists, but also to provide welfare for the animals," he said.

The project cost $US500,000 and was funded by New Zealand for Samoa's dog control programme which is run by the Ministry of Police, in partnership with the Tourism Authority, and the Animal Protection Society.

The New Zealand government has been helping Samoa to develop a national dog control programme since 2013.

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