Rock Vets visit much quieter: Is there finally a dent in controlling the animal population in Niue?

Rock Vets Trust Founder Sasha Nowell

It has been a quiet week at the clinic for the Rock Vets team of nineteen who arrived on the island last week, says Rock Vets Trust Founder Sasha Nowell to BCN News this morning. 

Compared to their last visit in November 2022 last year where they did 350 surgeries in total, the number of surgeries are much lesser this time around. 

“This is our sixth working day here on the island. Not quite sure on numbers yet but it’s definitely not as many as last time…I think the good news is that this time we seem to be doing a lot less which we are hoping we have finally made a dent in things because it doesn’t seem that people are too reluctant to bring their pets down.”

“We do feel like though there are still many locals who choose to ignore our help and advice on desexing, that this has been a quiet clinic. So perhaps we are finally making that dent in controlling the animal population?,” says Sasha. 

The Rock Vets clinic at the old Halamahaga primary school building only have less than two days left for all patients and pet owners to take your animals to get desexed or health checked at the clinic.

Five of the team returned to New Zealand yesterday, leaving behind a team of fourteen to continue their work before they prepare to leave next week.

The issue with the number of feral dogs on the island is ongoing. Sasha told BCN News that if there are feral dogs that require culling they need to contact the Rock Vets or Kala Ogotau who will euthanize unwanted or feral dogs that locals clearly see as a problem or dangerous dogs. 

“Many people are surprised we will also euthanize their cats and dogs humanely as well, we have done a few feral dogs and cats. Including litters of puppies and kittens. We prefer to see the mother for desexing if this is necessary to be putting litters to sleep.”

“We have made a bit of a dent in some of the ferals this time as well so we’ve put down some feral and unwanted cats and dogs as well which I think is really going to help too.”

Sasha says that villages also need to take responsibility for keeping their villages safe. Just one aggressive dog can kill a child or elder. A pack of dogs can do much more efficiently. 

Local and well-known owner of Lokuloku Manu Health Clinic Kala Ogotau is now working as an Animal Welfare Officer for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). 

Sasha says that “Kala Ogotau has been amazing…and has been doing a fantastic job of transporting, assisting locals and us in the work we are doing. As well as learning how to perform basic veterinary procedures.  His van is always full of patients he is helping transport which is a great incentive to those that can’t or can’t be bothered.”

Sasha is calling out to all pet owners and locals alike to bring in your pets, cats and dogs before Thursday which is their final working day before the team leaves next week. 

For more information, you can contact their phone landline at 4207 from 8AM to 4PM Monday to Friday or visit their clinic at the old Halamahaga Niue Primary School building. Follow online their Facebook Page The Rock Vets Niue.

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