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Last updateSat, 20 Oct 2018 12am







    Saturday, October 20, 2018-10:40:14A.M.






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Mayor’s office offers spay and neuter services

A stray dog roaming around the China Town area was later seen entering the Garapan Central Park, where the Saipan Mayor’s Office, through the Spay Neuter Network team from Texas, was providing spay and neuter services for pets.

That stray dog, according to Jennifer Lavender, Spay Neuter Network president and board director, became one of their first “clients” during the first day of operations, which would end this Friday, March 23.

“Our goal is to do at least 50 [spay and neuter procedures] a day, up to one hundred,” said Lavender, who owns three Metro Paws Animal Hospitals in Dallas, Texas.

She was accompanied by the group executive director Bonnie Hill, veterinarian Cassie Knapp, technicians Rachel Pena, Stephanie Rodriquez, DeAnn Stout, and her daughter, Ally  Basden.

Dr. Jennifer Lavender and her team start the procedure of the stray dog who come to the Garapan Center Park. Photo by Junhan B. TodiñoDr. Jennifer Lavender and her team start the procedure of the stray dog who come to the Garapan Center Park. Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

Dog Control Program manager Spencer Merchadesch said at least 30 dogs had been pre-registered by their owners during the first day of spay and neuter services.

The mayor’s office provided safety cages at the operation center, he said.

The owners, she said were advised to come back and pick up their treated pets at 2 p.m.

The team arrived on Saipan on March 18.

Lavender said the group had encountered problems with  getting  access and getting the controlled drugs needed for the operations.

She said the team had been working for months to get access for their medical supplies.

“The process of actually getting everything set up was much more intensive and laborious than we anticipated,” she said, adding the autoclave medical sterilizer was    damaged during the shipping.

The equipment was fixed on Sunday.

  In order to minimize, if not eradicate, stray dogs on island Lavender said the government should have the resources available all the time.

“I think if they could come up with it a couple of times a year. That would be helpful,” she said, referring to spay and neuter services.

Mayor David M. Apatang encouraged pet owners to avail of the service.

The pet owner is charged $25, while the mayor’s office provides a $45 subsidy to cover the actual $70 service fee.

Aside from the Garapan Central Park, he said they had hoped to conduct secondary operations to service pet owners in far-flung areas.

However, he said it’s hard to find facilities that are big enough to accommodate the equipment.

A volunteer from Tinian’s dog control program observes the operations and gets training, the mayor said.

“I wish everybody would work together and get involved because this is everybody’s business,” Apatang said of the campaign against stray dogs.

The mayor’s office will continue their informational campaign about the ongoing spay and neuter services so that more pets would be treated, he added.

Apatang also expressed his appreciation to businesses that gave  donations to support the dog control program.

For information call mayor’s office at 234-6208 or Spencer Merchadesh at 783-4743.