Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dead Dog in Saipan

Here's my latest experience with the poor boonie dog of Saipan.

Last week I came to work and smelled a faint unpleasant dead smell. I didn't look around and hurried to my office, intent on my trial calendar for the day.

That afternoon, I learned that the dead smell was coming from a dog, lying in the sun in the field outside my office, between the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library and the Civic Center. The hot sun beat down on the carcass of a dog with a collar. Looked like a German Shepherd/mix.

I thought-collar, someone will be missing their dog and come and get him.


The next day the stench was unbearable. It was now an office problem as people coming into our office couldn't help but smell the odor as they approached our door.

Two of my support staff went into action. They called the Saipan Mayor's office. A lady there put them on hold; and then came back and said call Sanitation. They called Sanitation and spoke to someone named Lia (phonetic). She put them on hold to check with her supervisor, and then came back and told us to call the Mayor's Office. My staff called the Mayor's Office again. The same woman explained they don't have "this program" anymore because there is no budget. She asked if we'd called Sanitation, and we said we did and had been referred back to the Mayor.

The two support staff took turns calling DPS. One was transferred to different departments and told they don't take care of this. Later the lunch hour dispatcher called back in response to a missed message from the other staff. The staff member was put on the line with Sgt Kiyoshi, who said DPS only entertains the matter if the dead dog is hampering traffic, and then they move the carcass to the side of the road.

We went around the loops a few more times over two days. I spoke with my neighbor office staff and encouraged them to call. But I finally gave up. The carcass was melting in the sun. Nature was taking its smelly course. The stench was sickening through the week, but the poor creature was less and less definable as a dead dog.

By this week, Monday, Nature had finished its messy business. The carcass, what wasn't eaten, has completely sunk into the ground, destroyed, decayed, degraded back to nature. There is only a shadow on the ground now.

Dead dogs can be taken to the transfer station, which charges $35 to properly dispose of them.

But a dead dog on government property? No one (including me at my private, not-for-profit law office) takes responsibility.

This is a real shame.


The Beachcomber said...

I wonder what happened to HB16-188? If passed into law, it will mandate DPS to move the carcass away from the road and for the Mayor's Office to remove it.

Saipan Writer said...

No idea what happened after the House approved it.

But it would not likely solve this issue. The dog was not on a public road, but in a public field.

The Saipan Blogger said...

Who manages your property, cuts the grass, etc?

Saipan Writer said...

Public Works.

The Saipan Blogger said...

I would imagine that Public Works would have been responsible in this case then.