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