The Veterinarian Clinic at the Department of Agriculture remains open thanks to the generosity of individuals and organizations who’ve donated supplies to help Tanya Tarasawa and her volunteer staff tend to sick dogs and cats.
The donors included ASCC students who raised funds to buy supplies. The Coconut Mutts group has also started an online fundraising in aid of the Vet Clinic.
Meanwhile there seems to be no further progress in hiring a US certified veterinarian for the clinic.
Dr. Kate Riley who had been communicating with ASG officials for the vet position is no longer available. She accepted a full time veterinarian position in California,.
She said in response to KHJ News questions that while she was here in January she met with Health Director Motusa Tuileama Nua several times and submitted a job application to his office.
After returning to the states, she said she communicated by email with a staff member of the Personnel Division to provide identification documents and professional credentials.
But Since February 28, she did not receive any further correspondence from anyone in the government in any official capacity.
She contacted Human Resources and the Department of Health several times, before interviewing for and before accepting her current position, to try to obtain an update on whether they were considering hiring her and she received no response.
Dr Riley had written to Governor Lolo Moliga and other ASG officials cautioning that the Veterinary Clinic was in crisis with the absence of a US certified vet, and the clinic was out of vaccines and supplies, at a time when leptospirosis was a threat to animals and humans.
She said the only response she received was from the governor’s secretary Tasileta Ioane, confirming that her letter had been received and would be presented to the governor for review.
Dr Riley said her main concern is that the government needs to put its support behind the clinic, not just rely on volunteers and donations. That means a reasonable budget for medical and office supplies.
She said she never said in her letter that she would not work under DOA but It makes sense to cooperate with DoH to order some of the needed supplies and medication.
Dr Riley is aware that the clinic is getting by on donations. She herself has sent several shipments this year.
She points out however this is not a viable long term option. However, if the clinic is well managed, revenue from treating owned animals could generate the funds needed to keep the clinic supplied.