Veterinarian Dr Anita begins dialogue in Gizo in a collective effort to find a solution to the township’s growing stray dog population due to safety threats they pose to residents

THE newly established Dog Working Committee (DWC) in Gizo, Western Province, commenced its dialogue with local veterinarian Dr Joyce Anita on Tuesday to find a solution to the growing stray dog population in the provincial township.

DWC was set up after a resident of Gizo was gruesomely attacked by a pack of stray dogs and died few days later from multiple dog bite wounds in hospital.

Since then, Western Provincial Government (WPG) and the Gizo Town Council (GTC) teamed up and formed the DWC to address the pressing issue of rising stray dog population.

Dr Joyce Anita, a respected veterinary professional based in Chinatown, Honiara, was sought for advice and she is in Gizo this week.

On Tuesday she met with the provincial authorities and made a presentation at the Provincial Chamber for the Premier Billy Veo and his executive and DWC which operates under the WPG.

Following the first meeting, Dr Anita expressed satisfaction over their discussions.

She considered it a privilege to collaborate with WPG, citing their proactive approach towards addressing the problem in contrast to her experiences in Honiara.

In an interview with Solomon Star Gizo yesterday, Dr Anita said, “It’s truly a privilege to work with the Western Provincial Government and the Gizo Town Council.

“Unlike Honiara, they have shown a genuine commitment to addressing the dog issue by actively involving veterinary professionals like myself.

“This approach demonstrates their dedication to ensuring the welfare and safety of both residents and animals.”

She highlighted that one of the key developments in the collaborative effort is the adoption of a baiting method to manage the stray dog population.

Dr Anita believes this method is not only effective but economical and has minimal risk of secondary poisoning to other wildlife.

“To initiate the programme successfully, a comprehensive approach has been proposed, which includes public mass awareness campaigns, collaborative efforts amongst various stakeholders, law enforcement support, allocation of manpower and detailed mapping of the affected areas,” Dr Anita added.

Furthermore, a final discussion and strategy meeting is scheduled for yesterday during which the committee will work together to establish a unified goal and framework for the dog issue management programme.

Gizo Town Clerk and Chair of DWC Charles Kelly said the collaboration amongst Dr Anita, WPG and GTC marks a promising step forward in addressing the rising stray dog population and the safety threat they pose in Gizo so as to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both the community as well as its furry inhabitants.

Solomon Star, Gizo