Monday, December 15, 2008


UPDATE: Apollo has a new home! Thank you Maria, and your family, for fostering Apollo for four (4) months and providing him with a safe place to recover. You did a splendid job caring for him and teaching him that he can trust humans. Thank you!

Looking for a great addition to your family this holiday season? PAWS has a nice, friendly, family oriented male boonie dog that is up for immediate adoption. Here are his details:

Name: Apollo
Age: 1-2 years old
Sex: Male
Color: Brown short-hair
Shots: Annual vaccinations given in 09/08

If you are interested in adopting Apollo, please contact Maria at or 256-0340. You may also called PAWS at 285-PAWS.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

An open letter to animal owners on Saipan

So here I am sitting in the Honolulu airport, getting ready to leave for Saipan. Honolulu was the site of my most recent continuing education seminar. Veterinarians are required to get 15 hours/year of CE (Continuing Education), to stay current on recent medical advances. I was amazed to find that last year I logged 81 hours of CE. This year I managed 35 hours.
This postgraduate education is expensive, but well worth the effort. I made a commitment to myself (and to my patients on Saipan) to relieve pain, suffering and disease. This is not possible without constant reading, instruction, and association with those that know more than I about this continually evolving profession. This is a commitment that I have gladly made and gladly kept.
Many of the diseases that we treat with little concern today used to be untreatable just a few years ago. I am continually learning new approaches, new medications, new surgical procedures that ensure a long, happy, life for my patients.
I love my profession and the part I play in making the world a better place.
God, in his infinite mercy, foresaw the need for a trusted and non-questioning companion to fill the deep void in the human soul. This void cannot be filled by human contact alone. This is why He blessed us with the human-animal bond.
My dogs and cats don't question me in any way, shape or form. They are happy to see me regardless of where I've been or what I've done, and they never question my motives, even when I do something that is unfavorable to them. Their love for me, and my family is 100 percent non-judgmental, and unconditional.
They have accepted my shortcomings, and deficiencies without feeling the need to give any “constructive” criticism. Their love and acceptance has helped me to develop into the kind of person that I have always wanted to become.
They watch the house at night and when I'm gone so that my own kind (humans) don't hurt me or take advantage of my absence to relieve me of my possessions. I sleep soundly thanks to my pets. I sleep soundly when I'm off island and Susan is home alone, thanks to my pets. They are truly a salve to my soul, and continually add to my peace of mind and sense of well being.
In short they give me the 3 A's (Acceptance, Approval, and Appreciation) that all humans want and need to feel complete within themselves.
They demand nothing in return.It seems to me that the least I can do is to give them the care that I should want to give to such a valued companion. If not I am a thief by taking something that is given freely and then refusing to return the favor, even to the point of illness and death. Some people know what I'm talking about, and some, sadly, don't.
It has been my privilege for 30 years to care for the animals of this world. It has been my privilege for the last seven years to care for the animals of the CNMI.
I hope to continue in this role for the next 20 least!
Just thought you'd like to know.
Ed Tudor, DVMvia e-mail

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Six Puppies Up for Adoption

PAWS has six beautiful puppies that are currently up for adoption to a good home. The pups were found abandoned on Thursday and are thought to be about 6-7 weeks of age. All the puppies have been de-wormed, treated for fleas and ticks, and bathed.

If you are interested in adopting one of these pups, please contact PAWS at 285-PAWS.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Been Dumped...will you love me???

Meet Rico, a tiny little bit of a pup, found abandoned near the old Puerto Rico dump. Nearly run over by a car in front of her, a PAWS member stopped to offer the shivering & starving puppy some assistance. Rico appears to be approximately 8 weeks old. She has had a flea dip, wormer and is eating some really good food at her foster home and is feeling a lot better. She is a happy little thing, following everyone around and wagging her tail. She is looking for a loving home, with a family that can provide continued worming/shots. She is shy around bigger dogs, but loves kids. Call or text Rose at 285-0408 for more information.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Brothers and Best Friends - Up for Adoption

PAWS is looking for a good home for two cat brothers that are best friends. Ideally, PAWS would like to place the animals in a responsible and loving home together.

Both cats are male 5 1/2 months old and have been neutered, so no serious cat fights over females, aggressive behavior, or peeing on furniture! Also, both cats have been vaccinated and de-wormed. They get along well with dogs and other animals. They are good outside cats, but are litter trained for those days/nights that they spend inside.

If you are interested in adopting these super friendly cats, please contact Madison at, by cell phone at 789-5050, home number 285-9095, or PAWS at 285-PAWS.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Apollo is a great family dog that is up for adoption to a good responsible home. He has been fostered as an inside dog by a family with two children for almost three months, and according to the family, he has proven to be a great family pet that gets along well with other animals.

Apollo is a male boonie dog, thought to be about two (2) years in age. He has been vaccinated, de-wormed, and treated for mange.

If you are interested in meeting Apollo, please contact Maria at 256-0340.

Four Puppies:

Four beautiful and healthy puppies are up for adoption to good homes. These pups are about 7-8 weeks old, have been de-wormed and treated for fleas. There are three black pups and one white pup, all with loving personalities.

If you are interested in adopting one of these pups, please contact Sonny at 989-9059.


PAWS President Katie Busenkell is fostering what she is calls “The Best Cat.”

Watson, ten month old tabby cat, was found starving to death by Busenkell’s dog, Holmes, about two months ago at Kilili Beach. Through lots of love, food, and numerous visits to the veterinarian, Watson has fully recovered and blossomed into quite a character.

Watson has been de-wormed and vaccinated. He is a very social animal, constantly looking for attention and talking. He gets along well with dogs and cats.

If you are interested in adopting Watson, please contact Katie at 256-0243.

If you are interested in adopting one of the above animals, or have questions about responsible pet ownership, please contact PAWS at 285-PAWS or visit our website at or our blog at

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Missing Dog Alert

PAWS is asking for your help in locating two missing pets. We are asking that you forward and/or publish the following information so that we may reach out to a greater number of people and increase the odds of bringing these two pets home to their families.

1. NT (short for "No Tail"):

NT "No Tail" was last seen in San Vicente, by the Stanford Hotel 3 weeks ago. He is a 5 year old Doberman and Rottweiler mix.

He was wearing a studded leather collar and has an injured front paw.

Please call 235-4541 if you have any information. A $200 reward** will be given for information leading to his return.

2. Paddle:

Paddle is a Maltese with white and brown eyes.

The last place he was seen was around the residence in San Jose, Beach Side.

He has been a family dog for many years, and the kids really miss him. A reward** is offered for his return. No questions asked. The family just wants him returned safely.

If you have seen Paddle, or know of his whereabouts, please contact 483-5041 or 234-8489.

If you do not want to be identified, please drop the dog off at the Seman Residence across the street from the Mobile Station in San Jose.

Pictures of these animals, and homeless pets, are available on our website at or If you have information about these the above-mentioned animals, or are interested in adopting a pet, please contact PAWS at 285-PAWS.

**Please note that PAWS is not responsible for any reward offered in association with the return and/or information leading to the return of a lost/stolen pet. All rewards are offered by the owner of the missing animal and are the responsibility of the missing animal's owner.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


PAWS just received the following email and we are requesting IMMEDIATE action by community members. The email was sent out by two teachers that have served this community as leaders in our schools and on the soccer field.

"Dear friends,

Sorry for the generic mass email, but I have some rather sad news and I only want to type it once.

Unfortunately, Luna died last night. Even more upsetting than that is that she didn't die because of her illness; she was shot in the back of the head with a 22. When we came home and found her a little after midnight, her body was still warm and the blood was still fresh. We are certain of who did it - our neighbor was awake and hanging out with a friend on his porch 20 yards from her body, but claimed to know nothing, hear nothing, see nothing. Glenn went and questioned them and their story kept changing. We called the police. They came and wrote a report and said that they would be contacting our neighbor and his friend. I doubt there will be much follow-up and even if there is, I doubt there will be much resolution. Luna was the sweetest dog in the world, and as you all know she was like a child to us.

Thank you for all your help, concern and support. Sadly, someone had other plans for her.

Lindsay and Glenn"

If you find this email as outrageous as we did, please contact the media at:

• Saipan Tribune: Jayvee Vallejera Editor at
• Mariana Variety: Zaldy at
• KSPN: Chris Nelson at and

We would also ask that you contact our leading legislators at:

• Senate President Pete Reyes:
• Senator Maria Frica T. Pangelinan:
• Speaker Arnold Palacios:
• Representative Tina Sablan: and/or

Something must be done about this. This is wrong. This is absolutely wrong.

Make our community a better place by demanding something of our legislature and law enforcement officials.

Monday, September 22, 2008

PAWS Dogs Up for Adoption

Once again, PAWS has some great animals up for adoption. If you or someone you know is interested in adopting or fostering an animal, contact PAWS at 285-PAWS or visit the PAWS website at or

Brother and Sister Combo:
Two puppies are up for adoption – a boy and a girl. The puppies are thought to be about two (2) months old. The rescue family has not administered vaccinations, so they will need to visit one of the island’s veterinarians at Paradise Island Animal Hospital (234-9669) or the Department of Land and Natural Resources (234-6169). These two pups are very friendly and great with children.

If you are interested in adopting or fostering one or both of these two loveable pups, please contact Sophie at

Solo Female:
One adorable brown female pup. “She's adorable, LOVES the kids and people, is energetic, snugly, sweet, fuzzy,” said the pup’s rescue home. She is about seven (7) weeks old.

If you are interested in adopting this little female, please contact Nicolette at or 322-0200.

Adult Dogs:

This is a great family dog that is house trained, and has received his vaccinations and de-worming. He loves company and enjoys being around children and other dogs, including cats.

If you are looking for a companion, please contact Marie at or PAWS at 285-PAWS.

PAWS is also looking for families that are willing and able to foster homeless animals, like Choco, who was abandoned by her owners when they left island. Choco is a brown female, thought to be about one year old and very sweet.

Choco’s older brother is also in need of a new home – temporary or permanent. His name is Blackie. He is very sweet and loves to greet people by jumping up and rolling over for a petting.

If you are interested in fostering Choco or Blackie, please contact PAWS at 285-PAWS to discuss foster obligations and opportunities. Alternatively, you may contact the rescuers, Mark and Patti, at 322-6676.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Survivors are up for Adoption

PAWS has two unique animals that are in need of loving and responsible homes.

The first animal is Apollo, a dog that was rescued from As Matius on Wednesday evening after a neighbor called to report that the dog had a plastic cookie bucket stuck on his head for at least five days.

“Though the image may sound funny at first,” said PAWS President Katie Busenkell, “I assure that this was no laughing matter. Had the neighbor not helped this animal, he would have died from starvation and dehydration. A miserable and prolonged way to die.”

The animal was taken to a foster home where the bucket had to be removed with dull-point scissors.

“Apollo is recovering beautifully. PAWS would like to place him with a family that will appreciate his past and provide him with a loving home in the future.”
Apollo is a male boonie dog, thought to be about 1 year of age. He is good with children, cats, kittens, and dogs. According to Busenkell, “He is just happy to be around anyone that is willing to pat his head and talk to him. He’ll make a great companion for someone or some family.”

If you or someone you know is interested in adopting or fostering Apollo and providing the animal with a loving home, contact PAWS at 285-PAWS. Foster families will be provided with one bag of dog food per month.

Chin Chin:
The second animal is Chin Chin, a kitten thought to be about six weeks of age.

Nine days ago, this kitten was found in the middle of the road, just in front of DPS, bleeding from the mouth. The rescuer thought a car had hit this kitten, so they took it to Paradise Island Animal Hospital for an examination.

According to Dr. Tudor, the kitten only had a chin injury that had removed the skin from the bone. A full recovery is expected, though the kitten is expected to have some scarring.

According to her foster family, she is a healthy, playful, and incredibly affectionate little kitten that is oblivious to her healing chin wound. “She gets along with dogs and other cats, and would make a great family pet.”

If you are interested in adopting or fostering Chin Chin, please contact PAWS at 285-PAWS. Again, foster families will be provided with $20 a month for cat food and/or kitty litter.

Busenkell noted, “It is always important that the community help us find responsible homes for unwanted or abandoned animals. Without the eyes and ears of the community, we would not be able to place these animals in good homes and our foster families would cease offering their help and support. Therefore, we are asking everyone in the community to help us find responsible and loving homes for these animals.”

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Millie - The Fantastic Family Pet is Up for Adoption!

Millie is a fantastic family pet. She is a rescued female boony dog, we've had her spayed and she has always been an outside-only dog. She has a fantastic temperament, is playful, great with kids and a loyal running buddy. She loves anyone with food, is a terrific doorbell and has an intimidating bark even though she's incredibly gentle.

We are leaving island in the spring and really want to find her a good home. We've enjoyed her for the last two years and know that her next family will too! Please call Nicolette at 322-0200 or email We will help offset the cost of vaccinations to get her up to date for you.

Found Dog

If you lost a gentle brown and dark brown/black dog with longer hair and a full coat, please contact PAWS at 285-PAWS. We have a nice dog that would like to go home to its family.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Beautiful Spayed Cat for Adoption:

A beautiful spayed female cat is up for adoption to a good home. Apaka is about 5 1/2 years old, all white except for her tail, she has one blue and one green eye. She is an indoor cat only, as she is possibly deaf in one ear due to a genetic defect and she is de-clawed. She is current on her vaccinations. She does not meow alot but prefers to communicate by rubbing up against someone when she needs something.
Apaka's family loves her dearly but can no longer afford to care for her. Therefore, they are seeking a loving and responsible home that will continue to care for her indoors and ensure that she receives yearly examinations by a veterinarian. If you are interested in adopting Apaka, please contact Joseph Cabrera at 484-0632 or 234-1513. Alternatively, you may contact PAWS at 285-PAWS. For other PAWS related news, visit the PAWS blog at

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sweet Beautiful Male Dog Ready for Adoption:

Unfortunately, someone dumped this beautiful blond male dog and now PAWS is looking for a good home so he can have a safe and happy life with a good family. The dog is thought to be about 1-3 years old. According to his rescuers, he is extremely sweet and does well with other animals. He does not have mange or any other visible skin condition. PAWS recommends that anyone who adopts the dog take the animal to one of the island veterinarians so he be examined and de-wormed if necessary. If you or someone you know is interested in adopting a sweet, loveable male dog - great for a family - please contact Ann at

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

PAWS Looking for Homes - Again

PAWS is in need of permanent or foster homes for the following animals:

Lone Male Kitten - Boy is He CUTE!

This little guy is quite a character! He isn't afraid of anyone or anything. He loves attention and to play. The foster family has really enjoyed caring for him and would like to find him a good home. If you are interested, please contact Rachelle at or at 322-2104 or 286-7909.

Five Adorable Kittens:

Five adorable kittens ready for adoption. All kittens are litter trained, deflead, and on solid food.

E.T. is an orange and white striped tabby kitten who was so named because of his out of this world ears. E.T. loves to sit quietly and watch everything and everyone around. Mesa is E.T.'s twin, an orange and white striped tabby.

Mesa is the snuggler of the group and loves nothing better than to curl up in the crook of your arm. She is a docile sweetheart.

Phantom is the odd man out in this crowd, as he has no sibling that matches his appearance. He is mostly white with black spots, almost like a miniature cow. Phantom is the adventurer and loves to explore the boundaries of his home and his humans.

Banshee is a black, orange, brown and white calico and was named for his fondness to talk to anyone who will listen.

Moo is Banshee's twin in appearance and is also a snuggler and talker. Moo always keeps an eye on his siblings to make sure none of them get out of line.

If you are interested in adopting or fostering any of these beautiful kittens please contact Aaron or Amanda via email at or by phone at 256-7732 or 285-8101.


PAWS is still in need of home for Leo, a young male kitten thought to be about 9-10 weeks old. He is good with older children and other animals. "He is such a great kitten that I would love to keep him, but I just can't." said his current foster mother. "I would like to find him a very special home." If you are interested in adopting Leo, please contact Melissa at 234-1253 or at

Loveable Dogs:

PAWS is also looking for an immediate permanent or foster home for two dogs. The people who are currently caring for the dogs found them abandoned about a month ago and are unable to continue fostering the dogs this summer. Both are well-behaved and gentle. The female dog is expecting puppies. If you are interested in learning more about this foster or adoption opportunity, please contact Michael at 789-2153 or via email at

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Thank you for Making it Possible

PAWS and Beautify CNMI! would like to thank the sponsors and supporters of this year’s “Best of the Worst Dog Show.” With community support, we were able to put together a great show and give away some great prizes. Thank you.

More specifically, we would like to thank our sponsors and donors: Representative Diego Benavente, Mayor Juan B. Tudela, Costco, The PEW Charitable Trust, Beautify CNMI!, Angil Design, Inc., Friends of the Mariana Islands (FMI), PTI, Expressions, Photography by Jack Hardy, Pacific Trading Company, Dr. Ignacio Dela Cruz, Judge Alex and Kathy Munson, and Tania David.

We would also like to thank the many volunteers that donated their precious time. Thank you George Hassleback, Judge Alex Munson, Brad Ruszula, Angelo Villagomez, Cinta Kaipat, Gus Kaipat, Francine Coulture, Ann Brazel, Mary McGee, Marja Onni, Melissa Simms, Adam and Rachell Miles, Judy Kim, Madison Smith, Ron and Moon Smith, Ken and Monique Kramer, Deane Jesse-Jones, Ciara B. Dela Cruz, Kiana Villagomez, Jay Santos, and Joe Przyuski.

Lastly, we could not have reached to the public without our friends in the media. Thank you Marianas Variety, Saipan Tribune, KZMI, Beach Road Magazine, and KSPN.

You all did a wonderful job! Thank you.

If you attended the event and would like to view and/or purchase pictures, please visit Photography by Jack Hardy Pictures of the event are available for purchase, as are mouse pads, t-shirts, mugs, and anything else you can put a picture on! Purchases can be placed on on-line and 30% of profits will be donated to PAWS for the education program and rescues.

We look forward to seeing you all next year.

Katie Busenkell
PAWS President
Chair of the Beautify CNMI! Animal Welfare Committee

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Found Dog

If you or someone you know lost a small dog last month, please contact PAWS at 285-PAWS.

Monday, June 2, 2008

PAWS has numerous kittens up for adoption!

On Friday, May 30, 2008, a Saipan resident found a box taped shut on the side of the road in
Navy Hill. The box contained four (4) kittens that are estimated to be around 5-6 weeks old.

“We know people are desperate to find homes for animals, but to go to this extreme is cruel. Call PAWS at 285-PAWS and we will help you find a home for unwanted animals,” said PAWS President Busenkell.

The kittens appear to be healthy and happy at their foster home. If you are interested in fostering and/or adopting one of these playful and loving kittens, please contact Rachell via email at or at 322-2104 or 286-7909.

Also available for adoption is a male kitten that is thought to be about 6-8 weeks old. “He has beautiful markings and would be a perfect cat for a family with no other animals,” said PAWS Vice President Melissa Simms who is fostering the animal. If you are interested in adopting this kitten, please contact Melissa at, 234-1253 or 285-PAWS.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Community Supports PAWS/BC Dog Show

Thanks to numerous community leaders, PAWS and Beautify CNMI! will be awarding great pet-care items at this year’s dog show scheduled for June 7, 2008 from 4-6 p.m.

Costco donated nearly $800.00 in pet-care items for the dog show and PAWS rescues. Such items include Advantage for flea control, dog biscuits, dog treats, a pet pillow, puppy training pads, cat food, cat litter, and education books for children and adults.

Other community leaders, like the PEW Charitable Trust, Angil Design, Inc., and numerous CNMI residents, made monetary donations. The monetary donations were used to purchase prizes such as large bags of dog food, Frontline for flea and tick control, dog toys, and Adams shampoo and dip for flea and tick control, just to name a few.

“We have had an amazing amount of support from the community,” said PAWS Vice-President Melissa Simms. “And thanks to these generous donations, we will be able to award people for loving their pets. Our main objective in hosting the Dog Show is foster the human-animal bond.”

The Dog Show is a free event that will be held this Saturday from 4-6 p.m. at the CPA Airport Field, underneath the Flame Trees at the southern end of the field. Participants are encouraged to sign up early by downloading an application on-line at and submitting the applicaiton to Katie at no later than Thursday, June 5.

People can sign up at the show between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. There will be absolutely no entries accepted after 3:30 p.m. The show will start promptly at 4:00 p.m.

If people have questions about the show, contact Katie on the PAWS PTI Hotline at 285-PAWS.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Easter Puppies Ready to Hop Into your Heart

We have a basketful of six adorable little puppies are looking for good homes. They were born on Easter Sunday and are black/brown mix in color. They have been homeless and will need puppy shots and worming. They are full of energy and eating well. Please contact Jessica Guerrero at 233-5746 to check out these cuties today!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

International Conferences

In May, I was fortunate enough to be invited to and attend TWO international animal welfare conferences in the United States.

The first was hosted by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) in Boston, Massachusetts from May 8-9. In attendance were select delegates from Bahrain, India, Mexico, Columbia, Africa, Brazil, and Saipan.

The second, Animal Expo 2008, was hosted by the United States Humane Society in Orlando, Florida from May 14-17. In attendance were numerous delegates from India, Columbia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Chile, Italy, Belize, Peru, Kuwait, China, Australia, and Saipan, just to name a few.

Both conferences exposed me to amazing people doing amazing things for animals throughout the world. This was inspiring, and perhaps much needed to re-energize our efforts here at home.

The conferences were an opportunity for experts and donors to share advice, knowledge and experience on animal care/welfare issues. So, in order to better serve our community and animals, I attended numerous workshops, including but not limited to: (1) how to recognize and combat compassion fatigue; (2) how to lobby for anti-cruelty legislation; (3) how to count and recognize cruelty cases in our community; and perhaps most importantly to our success, (4) effective methods of animal control. Copies of the presentations, and more, are available for your review per your request. I invite all of you to review these materials and to educate yourself about the importance and possibility of helping Saipan’s animals and/or our community.

In addition to attending numerous workshops, I want you to know that I did my best to draw attention to our situation here in Saipan. I spoke to representatives from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), WSPS, United States Humane Society (USHS), Humane Society International (HIS), the American Humane Association (AHA), the Pegasus Foundation, Maddie’s Fund, the Petco Foundation, and many more. I also made a point of talking directly to Wayne Pacelle, the President of the Humane Society and an internationally well-respected humanitarian.

What was the result? A renewed feeling of hope. I firmly believe that if we follow-up on the networking that was accomplished at these conferences, that change may be on the horizon for our animals and communities. But, PAWS and Beautify CNMI! desperately need your help in order to make these changes possible.

We need volunteers. We need people who love animals to help us foster homeless animals. We need people who are interested in honing professional skills to write letters and/or lobby on behalf of Saipan’s animals. We need people to go into schools and give 30-minute presentations to children about the importance of responsible pet ownership, compassion, and understanding animal behavior.

We don’t want all of your time. Just what you can give. And, if these tasks scare you, or you think you don’t know enough to jump in and help – not to worry!!! We are more than happy to either train in what we know or look for answers together.

If there is one base-line lesson that I learned by attending these conferences it is this – if people living in the deserts of Peru and Kuwait or the bush of Africa can muster up the strength and resources to combat animal cruelty, then we can do it too and we have little excuse not to.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

National Pet Week is Quickly Approaching!

This year, PAWS and Beautify CNMI! will be celebrating National Pet Week from May 4th until May 10th. During this week, volunteers will be giving humane education presentations to various schools around the island and promoting the humane treatment of animals.

If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer efforts, please contact Rose Callier at

And, on May 17th, PAWS and Beautify CNMI! will be hosting our Second Annual Best of the Worst Dog Show! Categories include:

  1. The Fattest;
  2. The Most Uneven Ears;
  3. The Best Belly Dragger (shortest legs);
  4. The Most Disobedient;
  5. The Booniest;
  6. The Most Like a Movie Star; and
  7. The Best of Show.
Participating in the event is free, though all participants must have on a collar and leash. And, if your dog has mange, we ask that you not bring the animal to the dog show. Rather, we urge you to take your pet to either one of the island's veterinarians for treatment.

Entry forms and waivers can be downloaded at Please submit your entry form to Katie Busenkell at The waiver must be signed at the event in the presence of one of our volunteers.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact PAWS at or at 285-PAWS.

PAWS and Beautify CNMI! would like to thank our 2008 National Pet Week Sponsors: Costco, PEW, Beautify CNMI!, DLNR, and Angil Design, Inc. Thank you for your generous donations and making this year's celebration possible!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dog Training Tips - Part I

The following article will appear in the April Edition of the Island Locator. Pick up your copy today or visit

Training Your Dog with Kindness and Patience: Part I
By: Katie Busenkell

The idea of training a dog can be daunting. I know from personal experience. I have a boonie dog that is about 3-4 years old. I have never met a dog with so much energy. He doesn’t walk – he bounds, literally jumping 2 feet into the air. He doesn’t walk – he runs like a thoroughbred. On more than one occasion, his high energy levels have gotten us (him and me) into uncomfortable situations with others.

A naughty, misbehaving dog is a nuisance. Nobody, including myself at times, liked my dog. In an attempt to find a solution to his bad behavior, I did some research on dog training. I read books on dog training, spoke with dog trainers and veterinarians, and perused various websites.

Most, if not all of the sources, had one thing in common – it wasn’t just the dog that had to change his behavior. I had to change my behavior, my way of dealing with him, if we (my dog and me) were to succeed at transforming him from a naughty, mischievous dog into an obedient dog.

I cannot possibly summarize all that I have picked-up along the way into one article. So, I have decided to summarize and publish one approach to dog training into a three part series***. Using the methods summarized below, my dog has learned a series of simple commands over the last 2-3 months. These commands include, “sit,” “lie,” “come,” and best of all, “stay.”

I challenge you try these methods at home with your dog. Just remember, be patient and kind. It takes time, but in the end, it pays off!


1. EASY: It’s important that your dog know when to calm down. So the first command is “easy.” This is a relaxing command. Introduce the command to your dog when he is calm. Then, gradually try it in more challenging situations.

While saying the word, pet your dog slowly from his neck down the back. This movement, long calm strokes down the back, mimics the calming gestures of a mother dog. So, while gently stroking your dog’s back, repeat the words “easy” and “good dog” in a soft gentle voice.

You should find that your dog starts to breathe a little easier and that he is relaxed. DO NOT let your dog lie down.

Once your dog has become relaxed, stop petting your dog. However, you want to keep chanting the words “easy” and “good dog.”

2. ORIENTING RESPONSE: An orienting response is a non-threatening sound or move that has a startling effect on your dog. You do not want to scare the dog. Rather, you want to grab the dog’s attention.

Do not use the words “No” or “Stop.” Those should be reserved for another command.

Once you have gotten your dog’s attention again, and you have him sitting or standing next to you, start petting him again and chanting “easy” and “good dog.”

After several days, you’ll notice that by chanting “easy” and “good dog” you will be able to stop petting your dog and he will be sit quietly as you are chanting.

Be prepared in the beginning to use the “orienting response” often. Training a dog takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged. Just remind yourself that it will take some dogs longer than others to decode the human language.

3. RELEASE: The only time your dog should come out of his relaxed state is when you say so. To let him know it is okay to move about freely, use a hearty “OKAY!”

Provide your dog with numerous sessions with the “easy” and “okay” exercises so your dog can learn the difference between the two. You don’t want your dog to confuse “easy” with “sit.” Rather, you want your dog to learn that “easy” means, “move about freely, but calmly and be sure to pay attention to me.”


Teaching a dog to sit, stay, and heel makes the dog a better companion. These commands establish control over your pet and serve as a constant reminder of who is the top dog.

1. SIT: You can best teach the “sit” command by a smooth, steady lift of the leash, saying the word “sit” and immediately releasing the tension as soon as your dog sits. If the dog resists, give a light tap on the dog’s rump. Don’t push the rump down. Pushing the rump down creates a natural counter-pressure that you can easily misinterpret as defiance. So, gently and slightly tap the dog’s rump. This should give him the message of what you want him to do.

2. STAY: With your dog sitting, hold the leash straight up with just enough tension in the leash to create counter-pressure. This allows you to use positive reinforcement (praise) as your dog is staying in position. Gradually reduce the counter-pressure as your dog begins to understand the stay. Naturally, praise the dog as soon as your dog complies.

3. HEEL: The objective of “heeling” is to keep your dog by your side where you have more control of him. Use gentle, but short, snaps of the leash to bring your dog into the heeling position. Again, the key to getting your dog to understand the word “heel” is to repeat yourself over and over again.

Be sure to praise your dog when he is in the right “heel” position. Maintain your pace no matter how hard your dog tries to distract you from the “heel” exercise. Change the pace once in awhile by slowing down and saying “heel easy” or doing a quick paced walk and saying “heel.” Then, add turns. Your dog will start to read your body language and stay in the “heel” position regardless of where you are going or how fast or slow you are moving.

Occasionally, release your dog from the heel position so he can learn the difference between “heel” and a freer walking exercise.

Try these commands, and next month there will be more progressive lessons on dog training. In the interim, if you are interested in learning more about dog training methods and/or dog behavior, I highly suggest you read the following books:

1. Dog Training in 10 Minutes. By: Carol Lea Benjamin.
2. The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions. By: Stanley Coren.
3. How to Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication. By: Stanley Coren.

For a comical read on naughty dogs and the dog-human bond, I highly suggest:

1. Marley & Me. By: John Grogan.

*** The dog training methods provided above were obtained in full from
The Gentle EasyKind Way: Behavioral Training Methods. By Carl A. Koski.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

National Pet Week Committee

National Pet Week is quickly approaching and we need to get ready for our annual celebration! National Pet Week is celebrated in the United States during the first week of May. This year, it is May 4th through May 10th.

In preparation for National Pet Week, PAWS and Beautify CNMI! are putting together a Pet Week Committee. Some, though not all, of the duties will include:

1. Giving Humane Education 45 minute presentations to elementary schools. Please note that the presentations are already prepared - we just need volunteers to give the presentations!

2. Organizing Saipan Second Dog Show. This includes: getting donations, picking up donations, coming up with categories, organizing print jobs, and obtaining support from sponsors.

3. Public Relations - radio and press releases.
If you are interested in helping us promote responsible pet ownership and the humane treatment of animals and/or just want to have a good time at this year's Dog Show, please join us on Monday, March 24th at 6:00 p.m. at Cafe on the Park for a general meeting.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Join Us at Our Partner's Fundraiser!

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW for $25.00 for adults and $15.00 for those under 12 years of age. If you are interested in buying a ticket, or volunteering for the event, please contact Katie Busenkell at

PLEASE, come out and support our partner in making Saipan a more beautiful place to live and visit!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Two Itty Bitty Kittys

We have two TINY little kittens that are about 4 weeks old, looking for some TLC and new homes. These were 2 seperate rescues, and not from the same litter. The male is a beautiful bright orange tabby and the female is a grey tabby. They have had their first worming, and are doing well for being abandoned so young. They are ADORABLE and very inquisitive and looking for a family that can give them some special attention and follow up medical care/worming/vaccinations. Contact us on the PAWS HOTLINE: 285-PAWS, if you would like to adopt one of these itty bitty kittys!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Good night sweet girl

By Jeffrey C. Turbitt

I lost a member of my family this week. There won't be a funeral. There will be no well wishers. No one will wear black. Some will even casually dismiss as absurd the melancholy that permeates my soul right now. You see, Shelby Turbitt wasn't my wife, child, parent, aunt or uncle; she was "just" my beloved dog for twelve years.

Shelby greeted me every time I walked in the door. She walked on the Oleai Beach Path with me. She watched television with me. When the Yankees won the World Series in 1996, the first time they did so in my mature lifetime, she got as excited as I did -- she just didn't know why. Friends move, stop calling or start ignoring our emails, but our pets are always there, especially if we take care of them -- at least for the relatively short time on Earth they grace us with their presence. She went to the vet each year. She was spayed. She got her preventative medicine. That gave her a relatively long and healthy life. I would urge all pet owners to find a way to do the same. In return for that investment, our pets add a bit of a soft touch to us -- even to a cynical SOB like me. They make us smile. They do things like give sight to the blind and teach children about love, loyalty, friendship and responsibility. They also act as companion to a lot of lonely senior citizens that tend to be forgotten.

It is indeed true that animals aren't people, and lots of good arguments can be made that we dote on them excessively. I "get that" on a pure reason basis, but we people aren't just Apollonian and guided only by reason. We have a Dionysian side that makes us human, not robot, and that makes the pain I feel very real and not the least bit diminished by any rational arguments from those purely practical people capable of minimizing this event -- an event that traumatizes many people who probably feel they need to hide their very real grief.

As couples tend to marry and have children later in life these days, pets tend to become surrogate children. Pet spending has doubled in the U.S. from $17 billion in 1994 to more than $34 billion today. When real children enter our lives, pets do tend to take that backseat. I noticed that trend myself. Shelby understandably went from being the only other living thing in my erstwhile bachelor pad, at least if I cleaned away the mold in the bathroom that week, to the dog that was part of a human family of four. She wasn't as prominent in my life, my older boy took on more of that role as her prime companion, but she and I still had all that history.

I still remember shamelessly walking with her when she was a puppy in the parks near Rutgers University in my mid-twenties for the express purpose of meeting college women. It worked, too. She was a great ice breaker. Every woman I dated had to pass the Shelby test. I knew I was going to be a hell of a lot more difficult to deal with than her, so she was a pretty good filter for potential romantic partners. When I took her into my life, I never imagined becoming an overseas teacher, but that was what I decided to do. I thought briefly about giving her up given the complex journey I was about to make, but she had woven herself into the fabric of my life way too deeply, so I brought her to travel the world with me. I like to joke that this little dog spread fertilizer further and wider than the John Deere Corporation.

In humans our hearts are our weakest organs -- perhaps our pets play a role in softening them. In our pets, kidneys are their weakest organs. Kidneys filter away toxins, kind of like Shelby did for me. Hers began to fail. The veterinarian noticed she was having trouble concentrating her urine a few months back, but there were no other symptoms, and I was never going to do any radical steps to extend her life anyway. I don't believe in that even for people, really. She continued on without any sign of anything unusual for a few months. All of a sudden, I noticed she had lost weight -- weight she perhaps could afford to lose given how well my wife fed her, but there really was not much else pointing to a problem. In a blink of an eye it seemed, she went into kidney failure, vomited blood several times and died naturally in the middle of the night as I petted her and begged God for a miracle -- or at least to ease her pain. It was a harrowing experience. Nature and the circle of life can be a cruel and relentless mistress. She passed away quickly in the middle of the night, and it hurts really bad. There is a scene in Pulp Fiction where Butch aks Marcellus Wallace, after their encounter with the hillbillies, if he is "OK." Wallace responds, "I'm pretty f****ng far from OK." I feel a lot like Wallace right now.

Good night sweet girl. You touched me more than you could ever know.

Jeffrey C. Turbitt is the language arts department chairman at Saipan Southern High School, as well as an avid scuba diver and traveler. He offers more thoughts in his blog Hypercritical Thoughts at: He welcomes feedback, tips and story ideas at His column appears regularly on Wednesdays.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lovely Lady Ready to Join Your Family!

This beautiful yellow dog, goes by Agnes, or Aggie. She is a medium sized dog, about 35lbs and SUPER SWEET! She is up to date on all her shots and has been spayed. Almost a year old, she is thought to been born sometime last April. Miss Agnes is housebroken, socialized and plays well with others.

Contact Susan at #483-7834 right away, to make Aggie a part of your family today!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Big Thanks for Little Things that Help A Lot!

It often seems that everyone is short on money and on time these days, but maybe we don't realize how seemly little things can greatly help someone else. Such is the case with two special people who helped PAWS in a big way this past week.

Jenny Zhang contacted PAWS after seeing that we had 10 cats needing homes. Jenny was a cat lover and previously had two cats. One had passed away some time ago and the other recently was lost or ran away. She was considering getting a new cat from PAWS, but will be leaving island soon. She called us with a FANTASTIC offer..."Could PAWS use some cat supplies?"

Yes, we can! A volunteer met Jenny and she offered us a huge box of items, including a brand new 30lb container of cat litter. Thank you, thank you, Jenny for your generosity! And what a great idea!

Do you have any pet supplies or items you no longer need? Give us a call and donate them to PAWS! You can remove some clutter and make a difference to some pets at the same time!

Also this week, PAWS had a call to removed a sick/injured dog from a business in Garapan. A truck was needed to take her the short ride to the Vet's office. Unfortunately one could not be located in a timely manner and the dog needed urgent medical care. No government office would help after repeated calls. Then our PAWS volunteer spotted a man with a truck nearby. She went over to him and explained the situation. He said he would be happy to help!

Thank you so much to Steve Marron for taking the time to transport "Sweetie" to the vet! Your time and kindness was greatly appreciated by PAWS and this dog is no longer suffering on the streets. A ten minute ride changed her life.

These are just two examples of what some people might consider "little things" but they really did mean A LOT!

There are many ways you can help and volunteer with PAWS, even if time and money is limited. Next time you see a PAWS dontation box at a local business, throw some small change in it. Every little bit helps! Also, Memberships are only $10 right now, downloadable from our website at or at Juanny's Salon and Porky's Bar & Restaurant, or by contacting any Board Member.

PAWS would also like to thank Education Presentation volunteers Carol Danelius and Ann Brazel. We are having a lot of fun with them and with the great kids in the elementary schools. Please join us!

This is one of the most rewarding ways you can volunteer with PAWS. We are looking for more people to work in teams of 2, giving a 1/2 hour presentation one day a week. Yep, that's it - a 1/2 hour reading stories and having fun educating kids about animal compassion, care, responsibility and safety. Contact us to observe one of our next presentations and see what it is all about!

Or if you love working with kids and have a few hours once a month, come join us for Kids Night Out! Parents can drop off their kids for a night out and we entertain them with games, crafts, and pet related presentation and animal themed movie. Our next KNO (Kids Night Out) is Friday, February 29th and we are still looking for volunteers. Contact Melissa Simms at to help out!

PAWS wishes to thank ALL its volunteers: past, present and future! Don't delay, volunteer and contribute today!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Conversation with Dr. Edgar Tudor

By Jeffrey C. Turbitt

Dr. Edgar Tudor has been a private care veterinarian in Saipan for seven years and is the owner of Paradise Island Animal Hospital . He spent time as a boy living in various Micronesian Islands, though not in the CNMI. His time in this region and a long career in rural veterinary practice influenced his decision to set up his practice in Saipan. Dr. Tudor also served in Vietnam as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. In this conversation he offered some candid comments on the state of pet care in the CNMI, the importance of preventative care, the costs involved with those pursuits and other issues.

JCT: What are some of the unique issues and problems pets and their owners face in the CNMI?

ET: The main challenge we face in the CNMI is that most of the people out here have grown up without the services of a small animal veterinarian. Because of this, many people here honestly have no idea what their responsibilities are to their pets. It's as simple as that. Keep in mind this is how I grew up.

JCT: If I am a pet owner with a limited budget like a lot of people here, what are the most important and cost effective things I can do to give my pet a better quality of life?

ET: The very simple answer is to remember that owning a pet is an option. No one forces you to have a pet. Taking care of that pet is not an option, it's an obligation not only to the pet, but to your family, your neighbors and your community. God gave us dominion over the animals and this means he gave us responsibility for their care. When we run into problems with this is when we try to sidestep our responsibility and make someone else responsible for our lives, or pets, as the case may be. So if you're truly unable to care for a pet, don't get one in the first place. It only leads to headaches, heartaches, and very bad feelings of guilt. Once you choose to bring a pet into your home and your heart, you need to jealously guard that pet from disease and this means preventative health care. It costs little to prevent disease, and much to treat the same disease, not to mention the emotional toll that a sick pet takes on the family. Before you get a pet, call the veterinarian and get an idea of what the likely cost will be. My wife Susan wants me to write an article titled, "How much does a FREE puppy cost?" Good point.

JCT: What advice would you offer the local government to deal with the problem of the large stray dog population on island? Also, do you have any thoughts on the anti-animal cruelty bill that seems to be languishing in the legislature?

ET: Very simple, enforce the laws that are already on the books. Prosecute those that steal and abuse pets. I know of no society that turns a blind eye to theft or destruction of private property, even if it's a dog or a cat. Enforce the laws equitably. More laws isn't the answer to unenforced laws. There are already an abundance of applicable laws that could be enforced but aren't. When the people of Saipan want an anti-cruelty law they'll pass one, but in the meantime, enforce the laws that are already on the books.

JCT: If the animal shelter is actually built, are there dangers that the dogs living in close contact could pass disease to each other, and if so, how can that be prevented?

ET: Very good question. This is my greatest fear if a shelter is forced through before the government is truly committed to its upkeep. Shelters tend to become cesspools of disease if not properly managed, and I see little commitment on anyone's part to actually run a shelter the way it should be run. Besides that, Saipan already has a shelter. It's called Paradise Island Animal Hospital , and it costs the government of Saipan, and the people of Saipan, nothing to run it. It is financed by those that bring in their pets for care, that is, those that do, not just complain. Not many in the government know about it precisely because it costs them nothing, and it doesn't show up on anyone's budget -- except mine.

JCT: Please explain why spaying and neutering is important, and is there a way with medical advancements that the indigent people here would be able to do this in a cost effective fashion that might even help diminish the large stray population?

ET: Spaying for female dogs and neutering for male dogs is part of preventative medicine. Spaying prevents breast cancer, uterine infections and prevents unwanted puppies and kittens. It also keeps us from losing our favorite pets during the birthing process, which happens quite a bit on Saipan to non-spayed females. Neutered male dogs tend to stay home, tend not to get hit by cars and get injured in dog fights, which keeps the pets healthier and the owners happier because they aren't spending money they don't have. Spayed and neutered dogs also tend to live much, much longer with a better quality of life than their non-spayed and non-neutered cousins because of the above. We spayed more dogs and cats last year than in any previous year -- all without the aid of subsidies. We have expanded the services offered by Paradise Island Animal Hospital way beyond what it was when I got here and this has been based purely on demand for more and better services by my clientele.

The best way for me to save people money is to stress preventative care, not to provide cheap, ineffective care. If the dogs and cats are vaccinated, they don't get sick so the owner doesn't have to worry about not having enough money for the treatment. If the dog or cat is examined once a year and checked for parasites and other problems, any health challenges that are found can be caught earlier and treated easier and cheaper than by waiting until the pet is sick. People know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. What they don't know is that an ounce of prevention is lighter than a feather, while a pound of cure can be very heavy to bear.

JCT: What is it like to be the vet, in terms of the emotional highs and lows, of a place with an animal population in such distress?

ET: Relative to "an animal population in distress," I don't see that. I've seen nothing but positive change in the seven years I've been here. It is a daily improvement and that keeps me high on what is happening on Saipan. When I got here the best pet owners were the mainlanders with the "locals" barely showing up on the radar screen. What a lot of people didn't know however, was how much these people wanted good veterinary care for their pets. Now the best pet owners are my Chamorro and Carolinian clients, followed closely by the Japanese and then the mainlanders. People here don't necessarily do as much prevention as I would like, but they never give up on their pets when they bring them in for care. In that respect it's much more rewarding practicing out here than on the mainland. People are gradually learning about the benefits of preventative health care for their pets. People out here love and care for their pets the same as on the mainland. The ugly story that "locals" don't take care of their pets is just not true. The numbers of neglected pets per capita on the mainland is much higher than out there. On the mainland, the local animal control keeps unwanted pets off the streets and puts them to death to accomplish this. We don't have this option on Saipan, so when you look at the number of strays vs. the numbers that would be running loose on the mainland without animal control continually removing them, we are doing much better out here than they are on the mainland. Our problems are just more visible. Millions of dogs and cats are put to sleep every year on the mainland due to rampant neglect of pets. How can we think that we are qualified to lecture anyone else on how to take care of their pets when we can't manage it in our own country?

People on Saipan want better care for their pets, not cheaper, lower quality care. Jesus made the comment that "The poor will always be among us". Our benchmark should not be the poor, or neglectful pet owners for they will always be among us. Let's benchmark our efforts based on the behavior of the responsible pet owners. This number is growing rapidly on Saipan and it has little to do with financial ability. To be sure, we will never be totally free of stray dogs and cats, and this is where the local government will need to step up at some point with a leash law (already on the books but unenforced) and a decent shelter (already on the books but not provided), but not before the commitment is there. Saipan can become a model for good pet ownership throughout Micronesia with very little effort.

Jeffrey C. Turbitt is the language arts department chairman at Saipan Southern High School, as well as an avid scuba diver and traveler. He offers more thoughts in his blog Hypercritical Thoughts at: He welcomes feedback, tips and story ideas at His column appears regularly on Wednesdays.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cats and Kittens in Need of Responsible Home

Over the weekend, a non-resident worker whose contract has expired contacted PAWS. The resident worker did not contact PAWS to talk about the expiration of her work permit or trip back home. Rather, she needs help finding responsible and loving homes for ten (10) cats/kittens that she has been caring for over the last few years. She would like to place them in a good home before her departure later next month.

"The cats are incredibly friendly. They just need a good home that will take proper care of them." PAWS said.

Eight of the animals are about six (6) months old. The other two (2) animals are adult cats, one male and one female, are also up for adoption and appear to be in good health.

All together, PAWS needs to find homes for the following cats/kittens:

  • 1 female kitten – 6 month old. Her coat is white, black, and orange.
  • 2 male kittens – 6 months old. Their coats are orange and white.
  • 4 female kittens – 6 months old. Black, grey and white.
  • 1 male kitten – 6 months old. Black, grey, and white.
  • 1 adult female – black and white. Absolutely beautiful.
  • 1 adult male – orange and white. A real gentleman.

If you or someone you know is interested in adopting one or two kittens or cats, please contact PAWS at 285-PAWS (7297).

We're in the Network!

Thanks to PTI, and our friend Brad Ruszala, PAWS has a new hotline!

Now when you need us, we'll be able to return your call the same day!

Just call 285-PAWS (7297)!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Parents: Enjoy some special time to yourselves!

Kids: Join us for Food, Fun and Friends ~

WHEN: Friday, February 29th, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
COST: $10 first child, $5 each add’l Sibling, ages 3-12
CHECK IN: 6:00 – 6:30 PM (No drop offs after 6:30)
PICK UP: BY 10:00 PM, Early pickups welcome
REGISTER: Via phone #285-PAWS (285-7297)
REGISTER: Via email -

Sponsored by Saipan Grand Hotel

Thanks so much for your support Saipan Grand!
Don't delay...register TODAY!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thank you Ellia!

Late last year, our good friend Ellia left the island. Ellia was truly one of these people who couldn't let an animal suffer. She selflessly fostered homeless animals and once she had nursed the animals back to health - she found them a good home. Recognizing that these animals often required veterinary assistance, Ellia sold her own artwork to raise money for the animals she was fostering. What an inspiration! What a loss!

Well, she is still working to help the animals of Saipan!

Thank you Ellia - from PAWS and all the animals that you rescued.

This is Ellia wearing one of her artistic crotchet pieces that she makes and sells for the benefits of animals. Beautiful!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Puppies Looking for Good-Loving Homes

UPDATE: All of our puppies have been placed in good homes. If you are still interested in adopting a puppy, please check back!

Two Male Puppies
We have two adorable male puppies that are up for adoption! These two boys are about 6 weeks old. Both have been de-wormed and treated for ticks/fleas. If you are interested in meeting these two, please contact Annie at 483-0198 cell and 322-7241 home. You may also email Annie at

Female Puppy
This little pup has absolutely lovely personality - a perfect companion for children 5-9 years old. All she wants is gentle attention and to play. This female boonie pup is about 8 weeks old, brown with white markings on her nose and the crest of her head. She has been de-wormed and she has received her first mange-treatment at DLNR. She his well on her way to making a fast recovery. If you are interested in meeting this little lady, please contact Katie at 286-0970, 256-0243, or at

'Pass anti-animal cruelty law'

The following letter was hand-delivered to the Legislature and was published in the Saipan Tribune. Available at:

To Senate President Pete Reyes:

My name is Aprilleen Sablan. I am in 6th grade. I attend school at William S. Reyes. My homeroom teacher is Ms. Phyllis Ain. I am writing to you because I think the CNMI Legislature should pass the Anti- Animal Cruelty Law because the people of the CNMI aren't treating animals the way they should be treated. Most of the villages I go to, I see abandoned animals, animals with diseases and that isn't right. This law will prevent animals from being neglected, abandoned, and injured.

A few nights ago you said that you weren't going to pass the law because the CNMI has a budget. It doesn't really matter if the CNMI has a budget or not. The law wouldn't need that much money. If you pass this law the CNMI would be a better place. There wouldn't be any neglected or injured animals. The CNMI would be an even more beautiful place. Now the CNMI isn't that beautiful because there are animals going around with diseases and animals that are injured, and that might scare away the tourists. The CNMI Legislature wants more tourists to come to the islands, right? So I think the Legislature should pass the Law. I hope you and the rest of the representatives pass this law. Thank you for your time.

Aprilleen Sablan
William S. Reyes Elementary School

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Students press Legislature on anti-cruelty bill

The following story appeared in the Saipan Tribune on February 1, 2008:

Students press Legislature on anti-cruelty bill

The first batch of letters from students of William S. Reyes Elementary School pressing lawmakers to enact an anti-animal cruelty bill was hand-delivered to the Legislature Wednesday.

The students, according WSR sixth grade teacher Phyllis Ain, made really good arguments in their letters. “Not only were they concerned about the well-being of the animals, but they were really concerned about how the absence of the anti-animal cruelty law would effect tourism in the CNMI,” Ain said.

One of the letters was from sixth grader Aprilleen Sablan to Senate President Pete Reyes, where she stated that an anti-animal cruelty law will not only prevent animals from being neglected, abandoned, and injured but would help “the CNMI become an even more beautiful place” and not scare off tourists. She added in her letter that, “A few nights ago you [Reyes] said that you weren't going to pass the law because the CNMI has no budget. It doesn't really matter if the CNMI has a budget or not. The law wouldn't need that much money.”

Ain said the students didn't really understand why the law was not being passed because of “no money.” “They didn't understand what that had to do with passing the law that would just punish people who would hurt animals. I said I didn't know and that they should ask the people who are responsible; and that's what they did,” Ain said.

She said she understands that CNMI lawmakers have priorities. “And I respect their priorities. But the pie is not just one size. There are a lot of segments to that pie. And this is an issue the community is obviously concerned about, and it's growing.”The second batch of student letters to the Legislature will be sent out today.

Dan Anderson, who hand-delivered the first batch of 31 letters to the Senate president, said that, from what he read, the students have valid questions. “They [students] wanted to know why they [lawmakers] couldn't pass the law and why they couldn't pass the budget,” Anderson said.

Pets Assistance and Welfare Services president Katie Busenkell said, "The reports of pet-theft and rampant animal abuse that is tolerated in Saipan is appalling. It is absolutely disgraceful that on American soil, it is legal to beat and or torture an animal to death.”

She urged people to “write your legislators and urge them to pass the PAWS Animal Protection Act. It is the foundation to some much needed change in the way animals are treated on Saipan."