The US military is there to help the local community and Saipan Cares for Animals solve the island’s stray animal problem.
The U.S. Army’s 445th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services Support is conducting an on-site investigation for a veterinary mission they hope to conduct in June or July, according to Major Dan Lavorgna, innovation training program manager.
The IRT is a program under the Secretary of Defense that enables the military to work with local communities in need of assistance.
The military unit, Lavorgna said, will carry out a veterinary mission to reduce the impact of the stray animal population on Saipan.
Saipan Cares for Animals, a non-profit organization, worked with the Saipan Mayor’s Office to address this issue. However, SCA is now in dire straits after the CNMI zoning board gave it until the end of next month to vacate its current animal shelter, which the zoning says is not in line with the zoning law.
If he cannot move to another shelter as soon as possible, SCA will have to euthanize more than 150 dogs in his care, and there will be no shelter for stray dogs roaming the island at this time. .
“We hope to solve this problem,” Lavorgna said.
He said the community will benefit from the neutering and neutering of animals while soldiers deployed for the veterinary mission will receive hands-on training.
On Monday, Lavorgna said planners looked at what facilities they can use for the mission, what kind of facilities are available for soldiers and for veterinary operations.
“So right now we’re at a planning stage,” Lavorgna said.
Major Rick Upshaw, a veterinarian, said they were trying to establish “where we are going to locate our people, how we are going to feed them and what our mission is really going to entail”.
He added, “We will try to reduce animal overpopulation and we will also work with community partners like Saipan Cares for Animals.”
Upshaw said: “We are [also] do so for training purposes so that our employees gain hands-on experience working to help the community. »
CNMI Office of Military Affairs Special Assistant Glenna Palacios, on behalf of Governor Ralph DLG Torres, expressed the Commonwealth’s appreciation to Major LaVorgna and the 445th Medical Detachment Veterinary Team for their partnership. “We are looking forward to this summer’s mission,” she added.
CNMI’s Office of Military Affairs, she said, has a mandate, in part, to “facilitate the integration of military personnel into our community; to seek employment and economic development opportunities; and continue [a] mutually beneficial partnership between the CNMI and the Department of Defense, among others.”
To fulfill these mandates, Palacios said the office has established a community relations program, the CNMI Supply Technical Assistance Center, and leverages DoD programs that provide mutual benefits to the military and the community.
In an effort to address the island’s stray animal problem, she said the office had submitted a community application for Veterinary Services in 2020 “and we are fortunate that our application was selected by the Air Force Command. U.S. Army G-37 for the fiscal year 2022 funding round.”
“We spoke with Maj. Dan LaVorgna, Army/Army Reserve IRT Program Manager, HSS Gabriel Cosme, MSG Jennifer Bunch, Maj. Rick Upshaw and SPC Shalleica Bowen from the services veterinarians from the 445th Medical Detachment, since October 2021, discussing the draft mission and scope,” Palacios said.
“They are here on the island for week-long planning meetings and for on-site survey and assessment. We look forward to running this project this summer to support local population control efforts. ‘stray animals on the island; to help pet owners by providing free veterinary services; and for our partners in the military to learn more about our islands, our culture and our people,” he said. she adds.
“We look forward to the execution of this mission in [the] Been with them, along with our supportive community partners, Ms. Aria Keilbach from Boonie Babies, Ms. Beth Pilscou from Saipan Cares for Animals and Special Assistant Ali Ogo from the Office of Youth Affairs.