Legalize TNR on Guam

Legalize TNR on Guam

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Madison Coveno started this petition to Government of Guam

Thanks everyone for coming to this page to support this cause! Since we want the government of Guam to respond, signatures from Guam locals are the most ideal. But if you’ve come to this page from a link your friend in Guam shared- we are so glad you support this cause! Hopefully this inspires you to get involved with fostering and rescuing in your own community :)

Now here’s the letter: 

The below-signed are submitting this petition to request that Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) be legalized on Guam. TNR is a population control method for feral dogs and cats by which the animals are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, and then returned to the place they were caught. Because feral cats and dogs need to recover for several days after the surgery, they must be kept in the home of a foster for that time period. A current law banning dumping of pets (a policy that we support!) is written in such a way that also bans TNR. As written, the law states that caring for any animal in your home for a certain time period makes them your pet, thus making it illegal to dump them. This prevents the after-surgery recovery part of TNR. Spayed and neutered animals can be ear-tipped to prevent being put under surgery more than once.

TNR would reduce the populations of stray cats and dogs on the island and thus prevent much suffering that is currently the norm. The dogs especially suffer from malnourishment and mange. Both cats and dogs are frequently hit by cars, which does not always result in immediate death but prolonged pain. Puppies and kittens frequently die while they are still very young. As we have seen in the news lately, some people have even killed dogs intentionally. 

There are many wonderful people on Guam who are working to help these animals. There is a large foster network who take in stray kittens, puppies, and adoptable adults and find forever homes for them. Many people generously put out food for the dogs and cats that roam their neighborhoods. GAIN finds homes for many animals but is frequently at capacity and does unfortunately put animals down as well. Some of these, especially feral adult cats, could fend for themselves if they were spayed or neutered and then released, rather than being put down. If TNR were legalized, these fosters could improve the lives of even those animals that are not adoptable, and, in the long run, the populations would go down and fewer animals would suffer.

Legalizing TNR would be very unlikely to have negative impacts for the people on Guam. Those who love animals would not have to witness as many dead and dying dogs and cats who have been hit by cars on the side of the road. Those that consider the stray dogs and cats to be pests would also consider it a benefit, as over time the populations would go down.

In conclusion, please consider amending the anti-dumping law to permit TNR of the free-roaming dogs and cats while still banning abandonment of pets. It would only be a benefit to people and to animals! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter. Have a wonderful day!

For those interested, this is the law: 

http://www.guamcourts.org/CompilerofLaws/GAR/09GAR/09GAR001-3.pdf

On page 3 it says " (a) ‘Animal’ means any live non-human vertebrate creature, domestic or wild.........(f) ‘Harbor’ means providing a place of refuge, safety, retreat, food,shelter or protection for pets. A pet is deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered for three (3) consecutive days or more on the same property. (j) ‘Pet’ means a cat or a dog........(l) ‘Pet owner’ means any person or legal entity who harbors, cares for, exercises control over or knowingly permits any pet to remain on premises occupied by that person or legal entity. " and on page 104 it says " It shall be unlawful for an owner of an animal to abandon his animal in or upon any sidewalk, street, alley, lane, public right of way, park or other public property".

With "owner", "pet", and "harbor" being so defined, it is at best uncertain whether TNR is legal.

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!