A change.org petition calling to extend Saipan Cares for Animals’ stay at its current location has garnered almost 3,000 e-signatures as of yesterday.
According to the petition, the Commonwealth Zoning Board recently denied the animal welfare nonprofit group’s request for an extension to stay at its current As Gonno location, and as a result of the board’s decision, SCA will be forced to stop all operations by Jan. 31.
According to the petition, stopping all operations, even temporarily, is something that SCA cannot afford and may lead to the permanent closure of the group. With Jan. 31 nearing, “SCA is now faced with the prospect of finding homes for the 150-plus animals in their care, or face the horrendous prospect of being forced to euthanize those who could not be [rehomed],” the petition states.
Saipan Tribune previously reported last July that SCA’s Beth Pliscou had signed a lease for SCA’s new site in As Lito where it will soon transfer, in compliance with Zoning regulations.
In the petition, however, it is shared that much development on the land is and will be needed before SCA can begin setting up its clinic, fencing, and kennels. SCA hopes, though, to accomplish all the needed development and setting up within six months.
“However this land is not developed at all and will need to be bulldozed and cleared before we can even begin to think of fencing, kennels, or building a new clinic complete with power, water, and sewage. …SCA is hopeful that they can accomplish all of this within six months. This is due almost entirely to donations of time, services, and funds from supporters,” the petition said.
In closing, the petition recognizes SCA’s contributions to the CNMI through its commitment to providing “a public service that is accessible to all”, and that SCA’s continued existence is made possible through the “constant meaningful support and contributions from [the] CNMI community.”
A link to the petition can be found at https://chng.it/TrDYryFYtQ.
The petition was created by Kayla Brin on Jan. 22 and, as of writing has already received 2,944 signatures toward an initial goal to reach 5,000 signatures. “I’m glad the petition has picked up a lot of traction,” Brin said last night.
“If you read the comments on the petition the positive impact that SCA has on the Saipan community is so apparent. Buying more time for a transition right now will save the lives of over 100 animals that are currently under their care and hopefully motivate the community to aid in viable long-term solutions for this incredible organization that does so much for the animals of this island,” she added.
In a Jan. 21 Facebook post, SCA said that 12 shelter animals so far have been adopted. However, 106 dogs and puppies and 40 cats and kittens are still in need of “forever homes” before SCA closes its shelter on Jan. 31. SCA asks all those to stop by its As Gonno location and adopt a new pet for free. SCA’s Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/saipancaresforanimals.cnmi.
Zoning officials could not be immediately reached for this story as this happened over the weekend and Saipan Tribune will attempt to solicit comments from Zoning this week.