Dunedin City Council animal control officer Karan Whyte,
with springer spaniel Tess, is travelling to Samoa to help
introduce new dog control measures in the islands. Photo by
Animal control officer Karan Whyte has 25 years'
experience wrangling Dunedin's most difficult and dangerous
Now, she is hoping to pass on her skills as part of a
training support initiative in Samoa, which is trying to
muzzle its own wandering dog problem that is blamed for
hundreds of people being bitten each year.
Mrs Whyte, a Dunedin City Council animal control officer, has
volunteered for an eight-day rotation in Samoa as part of the
the Local Government Technical Assistance Facility for
Pacific Countries (PacificTA).
The programme was funded from the New Zealand Aid Programme,
managed by Local Government New Zealand, which was assisting
Samoan police to implement the country's Canine Control Act
Mrs Whyte said Samoan authorities had begun to tackle the
problem by introducing dog registration and control measures
across the islands earlier this year.
The focus was initially on Apia, but it would be extended to
surrounding villages on both islands. During Mrs Whyte's
rotation, from August 12-20, she would be working alongside
Samoa's new animal control officers, sharing pointers on
safety and the humane treatment of animals.
''We'll be going out, working with them and doing as we do
with our other officers here [in Dunedin] - work with each
other, support each other, and talk each other through
It would be Mrs Whyte's first trip to the islands, but she
would be taking plenty of experience with her, having joined
the council's animal control team about 1989.
She doubted she would have too much trouble making her
intentions clear to the island's canine population.
''`No' is different in different languages ...
''I think I'll rely on my tone of voice and body language.
That's universal,'' she said.