A survey to determine Rarotonga’s canine population to address the dog problems on the island is now underway.
The survey was initiated following a consultation meeting on
Wednesday between Tourism Minister Patrick Arioka, the Dog Registration and
Animal Control Committee (the Committee), and representatives from the 10
The Committee chaired by Inspector John Strickland includes
members from Police, Agriculture, Tourism, SPCA, and Te Are Manu.
The puna have been engaged to conduct the survey over the
coming month and will be visiting homes around the island to gather the
Cook Islands Police Service spokesperson Trevor Pitt said
government agencies should have a clearer picture of Rarotonga’s dog population
once a survey comes to an end at the end of May.
A comprehensive database is being developed to serve a range
of actions and responsibilities held by the Committee.
In terms of the Police Service, Pitt said the registration
of dogs, and enforcement of the legal requirements for owners, are key
“To assist the survey, all owners are being asked to please
cooperate with the puna in collecting details about their dogs,” he said.
“The Police Service in particular is encouraged by the cooperative efforts thus far, including the key support of Minister Arioka, the Committee and the puna. “The support from the community is also vital in ensuring dogs are better managed and supervised appropriately,” Pitt said.
Committee chair Inspector Strickland said Wednesday’s
meeting was steered by Minister Arioka, who is driving the initiatives with
The Committee itself has progressed considerably over a
short period, developing a good foundation of cooperation and setting up a
workable framework to tackle the range of issues to do with dogs, he added.
Strickland is pleased with the input and the contributions
of the various agencies.
“The feedback from the puna was constructive and positive.”
He is asking for the community to also respond positively to
the collaborative efforts.
“It’s a big job. But there will be effective results in the
ways in which each of the parties can contribute. Mapping out the database will
be an important step forward and the puna are ideally placed to conduct the
The Dog Registration and Animal Control Committee was
established during a workshop earlier this month to address the dog problems on
Rarotonga and the challenges each agency faces.
Minister Arioka spearheaded the workshop and welcomed the
various stakeholders by stating the purpose of the half day workshop during his