Sunday, May 28, 2006


Meet Boris (left) and Molly (right). For most of last week and the coming week they're my charges. A friend is travelling overseas so I'm staying at her place to look after these two. They're very young, only a few months old. Both have been rescued by Samoa's Animal Protection Society, an NGO that works to improve the "care and management of companion animals". They're a couple of lucky puppies.

Everywhere you go in Samoa (with the exception of Manono) you will see dogs on the side of the road. The majority of them are strays and can occasionally be a threat. One of the first things you learn upon arrival in Samoa is how to deal with the dogs. Carrying a couple of stones is a pretty good approach and having the word halu under your belt is essential.

Every now and then the issue of stray dogs comes up in the Observer with fresh calls for improved education and organised spaying and castration programs. The Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment has taken a leadership role in co-ordinating the goverment approach to the problem but I'd argue that it is the APS that really leads the way. They have mobile veterinary clinics, hold education campaigns in villages and schools, offer the aforemention spaying and castration services but also de-worming and immunisation treatments. They're a quality organisation.

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