Impounded dogs trained as K9s discussion in pipeline

Discussions about training dogs impounded in the Police Dog Management Unit to be K9 dogs is "in the pipelines."

So said Deputy Police Commissioner, Papali'i Monalisa Tiai.

In an email response to Samoa Observer questions, Papali'i said K9 dogs and their handlers, whom are sworn Police officers are trained from New Zealand by the New Zealand Police. 

"But discussions are in the pipeline," she said.

Around 13,000 dogs have been impounded at the Dog Management Unit since its establishment, said Papali'i.

In 2017, the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi opened a new $1 million home for the D.M.U. of the Police, to address the issue of stray dogs. 

These stray dogs have been seen as a negative influence on visitors' experience in Samoa with locals and residents alike with a story to tell of unpleasant encounters with stray or unrestrained dogs.

Over the years, the unit has been responsible for setting dog traps to catch stray dogs and attend to matters regarding dog attacks.

She said dogs that are impounded by Police are not claimed after four days are put to permanent sleep.

"D.M.U. is still operational," she said.

"Since its establishment in 2014 approximately 13,000 dogs were impounded at the Shelter.

"Dogs that are impounded and not claimed after four days of being at the D.M.U. shelter are euthanized."

Dogs are available for adoption from the shelter by the public at the price of $50, she said. 

"The public can adopt dogs from the shelter by contacting our D.M.U. office in Apia at a cost of $50 tala per adoption and an annual registration of $5 tala as per requirement of the Canine Control Act 2013.

"The Unit also is still working with the Animal Protection Society with de-sexing programs in the rural areas and awareness on annual registration and requirements of the Canine Control Act 2013."

The 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.

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