Emma Lowe from Canberra, Australia, in one of her recent trips to Samoa, donated a blade clipper to Animal Protection Society (A.P.S.).
Ms. Lowe is just like any tourist flying over to experience more of Samoa, but her love for pets and animals gave her the urge to donate to A.P.S.She acknowledged the work done by the non-profit organization that isdedicated to improving the health and welfare of dogs and cats in Samoa.
“Animals can’t talk for themselves and pet ownership is an interest of mine and I think people should be more responsible for their pets,” Ms. Lowe told the Sunday Samoan.
She highlighted the importance of awareness programmes, saying changing the mindset of people to understand the importance of animals is vital.
Ms. Lowe said people’s actions towards animals, especially dogs’ gives them a sense of fear and aggression, which is why people in turn throw stones at them, maliciously poison them with food, deliberately attack them with a machete or run them down with a vehicle.
“I guess the fewer dogs the more attention they would get, too many are too hard to control,” Ms. Lowe said referring to the large number of dogs in Samoa.
Joan Macfarlane, Chairperson of A.P.S. highlighted the need and importance of drug donations for free village de-sexing, which is according to her, the only method to control the dog population.
Plans for village de-sexing programmes are in the pipeline, and it depends on help from private companies in Samoa to sponsor the programme.
“I think the interest in terms of tourism to keep the dogs healthy and under control is recognised. It is generally known that tourists get a bad impression of the animals they see around and especially if they get bitten by a dog,” Ms. Macfarlane said.
A.P.S.faces different issues with guaranteeing the provision of their services.
According to Ms. Macfarlane, ensuring financial ability of the A.P.S. clinic while the non-government organisation has to charge at-cost services with expensive imported drugs is one of them.
The other issue is paying the salary of their only employee Miriama Mafi Talai, a vet assistant. There are plans to employ someone with veterinary skills for administration works.
Information about ongoing projects and events are published on the A.P.S. Facebook page.
The A.P.S. veterinary clinic is located at the Ministry of Agriculture’s compound in Avele, Apia, and they have a 24/7 emergency service and home visits around Samoa if requested.