I have posted this response to the recent discussion on the "San Pedro Dogs-Urgent" discussion. But as this is now three pages long I have also copied it as a separate item.
"As a resident of San Pedro and a director of SAGA I would like to update everyone on the situation here and the objectives of the society. Members of Saga met this week with the island health inspector and the recent occurences of poisoning (which were undertaken by a temporary inspector to the island) have stopped. The health inspector, town board and mayor are fully behind SAGA in respect to controlling the animal population (in a humane way) for the good of everyone.
SAGA does have a spay/neuter programme for stray animals BUT many animals with owners are not neutered and are allowed to roam freely. There is also no policy on tagging/collars and so we are often in danger of neutering (or worse destroying) someone's pet against their will. This will change over time with both the education program we are running in the schools and the license program we are working with the town board to implement. But none of this will happen overnight.
When a stray animal is taken to the clinic (we have rounded up many in the last few weeks) we do have to put down some - either due to disease or temperament. In many cases younger animals are found new homes (kittens and puppies are relatively easy to home) but the older animals are returned to the street. However having been neutered they are : a) not reproducing b) have no tendency to pack or attack c) are healthier with only themselves to feed.
SAGA have never shied away from putting down an ill or dangerous animal. But a healthy neutered animal is not put down and we have numerous cases where such animals have later been adopted by either locals or tourists who have taken them home.
The issue of "stray" animals is not an easy one and I put stray in quotes because of the many that are seen this way at first glance, a high proportion have homes. Animals are not cossetted and fussed over here in the same way as in the US or UK - they are not seen as part of the family in the same way and I doubt ever will be.
SAGA will continue their work through the many unpaid volunteers on the island and we are grateful to all the support we receive from both locals and visitors. But change will not happen overnight as it is as much about education as action. We believe that change is happening - many locals now bring their pets for innoculation, neutering, etc. which was not happening a year or so ago.
So I thank everyone for their obvious interest and care of the animals and ask that you continue to support SAGA in their goals as we work with the community for humane animal care."
#55203 - 07/23/0211:55 PMRe: San Pedro Dogs - SAGA Update
Chilled Out - Thanks so much for the encouraging update. For me (and Iím sure many others), itís a big relief just to hear that the poisonings have stopped. Itís also very encouraging to hear that so much progress has been made in the area of educating some of the residents about responsible pet ownership. Thank you again for taking your time to fill us in.
#55204 - 07/24/0203:18 AMRe: San Pedro Dogs - SAGA Update
This is good news for AC. Pet overpopulation is a world wide problem: not just on AC. Having a pet spayed or neutered is the first step, but owning a pet is a commitment to taking care of them for their entire life. Some of the problem is with the owners!
#55206 - 07/24/0209:16 AMRe: San Pedro Dogs - SAGA Update
I am curious as to what tangible (money) results have come from this discourse other than Marty's money we have spent expressing our views. I think San Pedro is better off thanks to Saga's efforts. SeaJay has extended the challenge. Susan has sent her money. I will be delivering mine in person when I return and lobbying for an expanded position on euthanasia ( I was tempted to use the word liberal instead of expanded, but then I was afraid that would put me in Susan's catogory.) LOL So let's have the count. Who is putting their money up along with their opinions?
#55207 - 07/24/0210:02 AMRe: San Pedro Dogs - SAGA Update
chilledout, thanks for the update. I too am relieved to hear that the poisonings have stopped and that SAGA has again reached an agreement with the town council. As the person who originally started this thread, I want to say thanks to all of you who have contributed intelligent dialog to help solve this problem. Bywarren, count me in for a donation to help with the cause!
#55208 - 07/24/0210:39 AMRe: San Pedro Dogs - SAGA Update
There may be some out there who consider their donations private but for those of you who want to show how much our little ďdiscussionĒ has benefited SAGAíS cause, Iíll start the list here. Iíve added a few names of people who have mentioned that they will donate (or already have). I may have missed some Ė if so I apologize.
Feel free to copy/paste this list and add your names to it (or fill in amounts). If any of you donít wish to show the amount, just include the words ďdonationĒ. Itís not so important how much we give as it is that we give what we can.
SeaJay (Cheryl and Bill) - $100 Susangg Denverdan (Hope) Ellydognme (Kayla) Chloe Island Junkie SEAWINGS Bywarren Teenah
#55209 - 07/24/0211:01 AMRe: San Pedro Dogs - SAGA Update
SeaJay: you are more computor literate that I am. I am wondering if it would benefit to have a new topic, like "Saga Donations", where people could just add their name and use these topics for added discusion If anyone agrees, maybe they could start it.