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Local Health Dept Animal Clinic has new permanent veterinarian

Dr. Bret Grover and Dr. Josephine ‘Jo’ Olver
Spay & Neuter clinics a success but STILL HAVE LONG WAY TO GO…

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Spay & Neuter clinics project has been a success, despite a poor turnout in Fagaitua, and things continue to look up in the local animal world — cats included — as a new permanent veterinarian, Dr. Josephine ‘Jo’ Olver is on-island, according to local Coconut Mutts, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the welfare of our animals in American Samoa.

The Department of Health (DoH) Veterinary Clinics Spay & Neuter Project was a collaborative effort, with Coconut Mutts providing $6500 in medicine and supplies plus $2000 in airfare to get Dr. Bret Grover to head the clinics here from Utah. Coconut Mutts sends a shout out “Thanks” to Adney and Tina Reid for covering Dr. Grover’s accommodations while here, says CCM representative on-island, Luana Scanlan.

Coconut Mutts website acknowledges the amazing efforts of the ASG DOH Animal Services, Office of Samoan Affairs, Department of Education, Legislation, Alofa Mo Meaola, Lions Club and Animal Lovers to improve the animal welfare in the territory, including this Project.

Mrs. Scanlan notes that the permanent vet tech, Stanlie L Rota, who has been on island for a few months from Fiji, assisted Dr. Grover with the surgeries.

The project goal was for 250 surgeries, but they were only able to do 208, which included two cats. Scanlan said, “If we had one more day, or if Fagaitua had seen a better turn out, we would have achieved it.”

The DoH Animal Clinic has kittens that need a family. Please call or stop by the veterinary clinic if you are interested. [photo: courtesy of Coconut Mutts]

However, the project was able to provide vouchers for free surgery to another 20 dog owners who will be bringing their pets in June for spay/ neuter, she noted.

Coconut Mutts further explains, “as successful as this Project is, we have a LONG WAY TO GO.”

“There are so many female dogs out there; and every female can have at least two litters per year. On average each litter consists of 5-10 puppies. So, 20 puppies per female per year ... multiply that by just the female dogs in your area and you can see how this situation has been out of control for a long time.

“Additionally, people love 'puppies' but fall out of love when they grow up.

“If we all took care of our adult dogs — fed them proper food, had them spayed/ neutered, provided safe and loving homes — we would not see the starving, sick dogs on the road today.

“Whose fault is it?

“It is most definitely not the dogs' fault — it is our community, our own selves, who are to blame for this situation.”

The non-profit organization encourages all cat & dog owners to please stop by the Veterinary Clinic to make an appointment to have your animals spayed or neutered.

“Fa'afetai for your consideration, and support,” Coconut Mutts said.

Statistics of Spay & Neuter Clinics held:

Date           Clinic Location        # animals Spayed/Neutered

May 16        Tafuna Clinic          18

May 17        Fagatogo               41

May 18        Fagaitua                26

May 19        Leone                   49

May 20        Tafuna Clinic          41

May 22        Tafuna Clinic          33

Total                                        208

Plus 2 cats                                   2

Total                                        210

Besides the clinics project, Coconut Mutts representative reports that at the same time, “Dr. Jo, our new permanent veterinarian, attended to multiple emergency cases including a 'HBC' (hit by car) in Leone, a puppy thrown out the window of a moving truck in Ili'ili, a puppy with a head wound, a cat possibly mauled by dogs, and various animals needing attention.”