Guam struggles to deal with island's 25,000 stray dogs

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Guam has 167,000 people, meaning there is about one stray dog for every seven residents.

Guam has 167,000 people, meaning there is about one stray dog for every seven residents.

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Guam residents could be required to spay their pet dogs and permanently identify them with microchips as part of a plan to reduce the island's population of about 25,000 stray dogs.

The draft bill crafted by the island's Stray Dog Committee is aimed at decreasing Guam's stray dog population by 75 percent over the next 18 months and is expected to be presented to the Legislature by Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr., a Democrat.

Guam has 167,000 people, meaning there is about one stray dog for every seven residents.

Retired Army Col. Thomas Poole, Guam's territorial veterinarian, said the island has four animal control officers who field as many as 30 stray dog calls daily, The Pacific Daily News reported .

Animal control officers set dog traps several days per week but residents sometimes steal the traps to capture wild pigs, said Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares.

Captured dogs are brought to the island's only government-contracted animal shelter, Guam Animals In Need. The dogs are then given the vaccinations needed to be adopted, but could be euthanized if they're not found a home within three days.

Besides the new rules for dog owners, the Stray Dog Committee's draft bill would require licensed dog breeders to apply for annual permits and pay a $100 fee for each breeding female dog.

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