In a joint press release by the Esther Honey Foundation and the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) they say two alternative locations on government properties in Nikao are being considered for the veterinary clinic, which is the only one in the country.
While both sites would require some work to make them fit for purpose, foundation representatives Doctor Byron Maas and volunteer Trish Barton who met with Minister of Finance Mark Brown to discuss the issue, said they were encouraged to have options to consider.
The new approach comes after the government issued a notice that the Esther Honey Foundation vacate its current Nikao premises by April next year and in the meantime, to abide by the two dogs per household law.
But after an outcry of public support for the Foundation which has provided veterinary services in the Cook Islands for 20 years, CIIC has helped to find alternative locations.
Brown said a major factor in the work of the foundation was their efforts to educate people about their responsibilities as owners and guardians of animals. However he also noted that the work of the foundation would be made much easier if animal owners played their part in caring for and accommodating their animals.
“Foundation representatives agreed with this, and are keen to find solutions to helping the community better play its role in animal welfare in the Cook Islands.”
The foundation representatives will go back to the Esther Honey Foundation board to discuss the options presented, with the aim of relocating early in the New Year.
In the meantime, the foundation will continue to operate at its current location.