BY Aiga Tofilau
APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 17 JUNE 2016: A Samoa Dog Management facility that will cost $984,700 talā broke ground yesterday at its location next to the Pacific recycles at Tafa’igata.
Funded by New Zealand, the project aims to improve public health and safety and dog welfare.
New Zealand’s High Commissioner Ms. Jackie Frizelle joined the Associate Minister of Police Amituana’i Kenrick Samu and the Commissioner of Police Fuiavailili Egon Keil to pour the first shovels of soil to break ground for the project.
“This ceremony is the indication of the commitment of the Governments of Samoa and New Zealand in supporting this programme since the Act in 2013, to solve the problem of stray dogs in Apia and other neighbouring villages which had become and eye sore for the community as well as for our overseas friends visiting our shores,” said the Associate Minister of Police.
“Samoa agrees that a top control facility is an essential component of the control programme which supports the welfare of our people and visitors, especially the development of Samoa tourism,” said the Associate Minister.
Due for opening in October, the facility consists of an administration building and facilities to accommodate and improve the welfare of dogs in the country.
The New Zealand High Commissioner Ms. Jackie Frizelle stated that this was an important milestone in the health and safety of Samoan people and the welfare of dogs.
“This shelter is part of a broad programme to support responsible dog ownership and include dog welfare in Samoa, provide the safe environment for stray dogs to make the streets safer for the community,” she said.
“From my window, I know there’s a decrease of stray dogs in the streets and at the seawall since the programme started. New Zealand funding of this shelter is part our commitment to support the development of tourism in Samoa.”
A dog shelter is one of the features of a successful dog control programme alongside public awareness, dog registration, dog control and dog ownership, said Mrs Frizelle.
The Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil said that the Management Dog Unit was set up following the passing of the Act in 2013. Since June 2014, a total of 10,014 dogs have already been registered and licensed. About 5, 800 dogs were caught in dog traps.
The Dog Management facility is being built by Zeng Construction and is expected to be completed at the end of October this year.