by Krystal Paco
Guam - Guam's animal control officers have their work cut out for them and are seeking more collaboration with the Mayors Council of Guam. According to territorial veterinarian Dr. Tom Poole, more than 1,440 stray animals were captured in 2011 but more could be done if the department was better staffed.
"Most of those 1,440 were caught during ten percent of their work time; they do one roundup a week from 4am to 8am," he explained. "That's four hours a week, that's the only time they're routinely dedicating to trapping dogs - we can do more but we don't do more because of the 4,800 initial complaints. The basic problem in my opinion is that we have four guys doing too much work so I don't see them as being inefficient at all."
Other problems include poor enforcement, limited methods of sterilization, and shortage of dog traps. Discussion included the possibility of creating stiffer penalties as well as requiring mandatory neutering of pets and charging breeders annually.