Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi opened a new $1million home for the Dog Management Unit of the Police yesterday.
The project is part of the government’s efforts to address the issue of stray dogs.
The new Unit is located just down the road from Tafaigata Prisons. It is the result of a partnership between the Ministry of Police, Samoa Tourism Authority and the Animal Protection Society.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa thanked the New Zealand government for funding the Shelter.
“We are indebted to the government of New Zealand for providing one million tala for the construction of the dog shelter which we are witnessing this morning and also further funding for the wider dog control programme as a part of its commitment to support the development of Tourism in Samoa,” Tuilaepa said.
“Stray and roaming dogs have long been seen as a very negative influence on visitors experience in Samoa. Local and residents alike also have a story to tell of unpleasant encounters with stray or unrestrained dogs.
Since 2013, P.M. Tuilaepa noted that the New Zealand government had been providing expertise and advice to the government of Samoa on the development of a National Dog Control Programme.
“This permanent dog control or shelter replaces its temporary shelter established in Vaitele in June 2014, to allow the Samoan police to put in place, effective dog control measures in Apia.”
Tuilaepa also used the opportunity to address bad behaviour in relation to dogs.
“One thing I’ve seen with Samoan people is that once their dogs start chasing and eating their chickens, they take the dogs to town, park in front of Farmers, and wait for the time that no one is looking, then open the door of their cars and let these dogs go off,” he said.
“They then drive off leaving their dogs in town.
“I have witnessed this with my own eyes so now I’m advising those who are still doing this, do not leave your dogs in town.
“Bring them here instead, and they will be looked after and trained by the people here.
“We are at a time where the number of thieves has increased and in a way, these creatures are helping out in that matter, catching those who have this habit of stealing.”