A total of 248 stray dogs have been captured during the first four weeks of the 8‑week intensive Stray Dog Control Campaign in the Central and Western Divisions.
The four weeks of trapping so far has been carried out concurrently in Lami, Suva and Lautoka whereby awareness is carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Animal Health and Production Division, with the selling of dog licenses carried out in the day, followed by the trapping exercise during the night in these same areas.
According to a government statement, trapped dogs are taken to pounds belonging to the Ministry and municipal councils where Veterinarians and qualified Para‑vets carry out the assessment of these trapped dogs, making an informed decision based on their assessment.
Dogs that pass the assessment are being de‑sexed by Animals Fiji in the Western Division and SPCA in the Central Division.
Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Mahendra Reddy says the de‑sexed dogs were available for adoption and rehoming.
He says the assessed dogs who have been found to have a good temperament are put up for adoption and rehoming, and members of the public who are pet lovers will only need to pay for the license for the rehoming and adoption of these dogs, which is $13.20 per dog to be paid on an annual basis.
Reddy says for those de‑sexed dogs that have not been claimed or rehomed within a certain period of time, the Ministry of Agriculture will be releasing these dogs back into the areas they were trapped in as part of the Trap Neuter and Release program.
He says this is a long term solution, and it prevents the increase of the stray dog population by preventing them from reproducing and allows the stray dog population to die out naturally.
The Minister says that by releasing these de‑sexed dogs back into the same location, these dogs will also keep other stray dogs out of their territory.
Meanwhile, the Ministry will also enforce dog legislation on people who do not abide by the Law and will upgrade and strengthen the services of the Spay and Neuter Program.