Pet hazards: Yutu, fireworks, neglect

The recent spate of New Year fireworks and the devastation of Super Typhoon Yutu, plus instances of severe neglect or attacks, are some of the calls that animal welfare organization Saipan Cares for Animals has been getting lately.

Beth Pliscou said that their office has been getting about five calls a day regarding anything between a family’s inability to provide care for their pet following Yutu, to dogs that have gotten lost due to the fireworks of the recent New Year celebrations that caused them to be afraid.

“A lot of reports of missing animals and people coming to us begging for us to take in their animals because they have to leave the island or their shelter does not allow pets,” Pliscou said.

According to her, the organization had been receiving at least five calls a day since Super Typhoon Yutu in late October 2018. She noted that a family who had to relocate from their home in Chalan Kanoa to the Kagman Emergency Shelter Facility rode their bikes from the shelter to their homes just to feed their pet cat.

“It has been really tough for people,” she said, adding that she also heard of a resident who was allowed to stay in a hotel but did not allow her to bring her pets with her.

“…They gave her a room there because she lost her house but she couldn’t take her three dogs, so she decided to stay in her house with no roof instead of staying in the hotel,” she said.

Her organization has also seen a rise in reports of lost dogs during the New Year celebration period.

She noted that a dog, no matter how well trained, could panic from all the fireworks.

“Even the tamest dogs that are right by your side could just bolt and they’re gone,” she said. “A lot of reports of missing animals [have been recently reported].”

The organization, she noted, posts on its social media page pictures and some information on some of the lost pets in hopes of finding them.

Pliscou said some tips she could provide to the public is, if needed, to tie their pets for safety.

“I never recommend tying a dog, but tie [them]. Of course, [provide them] with food and water. It’s just dangerous out here,” she said, referring to areas on Saipan that do not have power yet, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.
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