Guam Animals In Need, Inc.
P0 Box 22365, GMF Barrigada, Guam 96921 653-GAIN (653-4246)
Complaint concerning theft of dog and violation of the animal control laws.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Guam Animals In Need, Inc. (GAIN) is under contract with the Government of Guam to operate the public animal shelter. The contract provides that GAIN act as an agent of Gov/Guam in enforcing the animal control laws set forth in Title 10, GCA Chapter 34.
All animals at the Shelter are the property of GAIN, as provided by Title 10, GCA § 34101(f).
GAIN runs an adoption program according to the laws set forth in Title 10, GCA § 34116. The code requires that all animals which are adopted from the Shelter be sterilized. In addition, animals over six months of age must be licensed and vaccinated for rabies. The statute sets forth the procedure for adopting animals six months of age and older.
1) Title 10, GCA § 34105 provides that a license be issued for the animal after it is vaccinated for rabies. The "date of rabies vaccination, vaccine expiration date, the type, manufacturer's name and serial number of the vaccine lot used" must be provided in the license application form.
2) All adopted animals over six months of age must be sterilized. In particular, Title 10, GCA § 34116(f) provides:
"All Pets over the age of six (6) months given for adoption shall be sterilized before being released to new owners. Any expense incurred for such operations or vaccinations shall be included with the costs of care and keep and borne by the new owner."To effect this statute, the procedure at the Shelter for animals six months and over is as follows. Once an adopter has applied for an animal and been approved, the adopter is required to make an appointment with a veterinarian and pay for the sterilization operation and rabies vaccination. Either the adopter or the veterinarian advises GAIN of the date and time of the appointment, and a GAIN representative transports the animal to that veterinarian. For animals over six months, GAIN also issues a license tag and attaches it to a Department of Agriculture license application form. The application is only partially complete; the bottom portion must be completed by the veterinarian who administers the rabies vaccination.
The license tag and application are delivered to the vet at the same time as the animal. The veterinarian, after vaccinating the pet, fills in the required information concerning the rabies serum, and issues the license to the new owner along with a rabies tag.
We authorize the veterinarian to release the animal to the adopter after it has been vaccinated and sterilized. Until that time, the animal remains the property of GAIN. The veterinarian sends GAIN a certificate of sterilization, and a certificate of rabies vaccination, to confirm that he has complied with the law.
Any violation of these provisions is "punishable by a fine not less than Fifty Dollars ($50), or by imprisonment not to exceed six (6) months, or both." 10 GCA § 34124.
On September 8, 2005, Bambi Leone, GAIN's Shelter Manager, told me the following information.
On August 4, 2005, James Salinas was approved to adopt a mixed pit bull dog, "Tank," which was two years old. Mr Salinas advised us that he would be having the dog sterilized at the Wise Owl Clinic, which is owned by veterinarian Dr Joel Schiff (now Joel Joseph). We approved the application. Subsequently, Mr Salinas telephoned the Shelter and advised the operation was set for Friday, August 16.
On August 16, Jill Craig drove the dog to the clinic for surgery, along with a license tag and license application form. Mr Salinas was to receive the dog only after it had been vaccinated and sterilized.
Dr Schiff did not send GAIN the certificate of sterilization or the certificate of rabies vaccination. On or about August 31, Bambi Leone, our Shelter Manager, drove to his clinic to collect the certificates. The receptionist said she did not have the file and the doctor was busy, but that he would call her.
No one called back. Ms Leone again telephoned the Wise Owl Clinic asking for the certificates and talked to a young man named Jacob, who said he would have the doctor call her back.
On September 9, Ms Leone telephoned the Wise Owl Clinic again, and again talked to the receptionist, who said the records were with Dr Schiff, and he would call her. Ms Leone then drove to Mr Salinas' residence and talked to his wife. Mr Salinas had lied on his application. He had said his yard was fenced; it was not. He said he had only one puppy; in fact, he has six dogs in his yard, all chained. "Tank" was not there. Mrs Salinas refused to tell her where the dog was.
Later on September 8, Ms Leone telephoned Dr Schiff, who told her that in fact he had not sterilized the dog, because Mr Salinas had changed his mind about the operation. Therefore, Dr Schiff had released the dog to Mr Salinas, knowing it was a Shelter animal, without first sterilizing it.
This dog is the property of GAIN. It's release to Mr Salinas was conditioned on it being sterilized and vaccinated, as required by law. Because it has not been sterilized, and appears not to have been vaccinated, it remains our property and we want it back.
Dr Schiff has admitted to violating Title 10, GCA § 34116(f) by releasing our dog to Mr Salinas without first sterilizing it. We are prepared to prosecute his conduct to the fullest extent of the law.
Ms Leone can be reached at 653-4246 or 632-1934.
Mr James Salinas provided the following information on his application form:
Address: 191H Kabesa Court, YigoI am enclosing a copy of Mr Salinas' adoption application, and application for license.
Home telephone: 653-7650
Work telephone: 475-9276. He said he was a teacher at Astumbo.
Karon V. Johnson
GAIN Board Member