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Dogs – Rarotonga, Cook Islands

There are two kinds of dogs on Rarotonga – ones that have owners and ones that don’t. But sometimes it can be hard to tell the two apart. Most of the dogs – whether they have owners or not – spend their days wandering around the island. They play together on the beach, go fishing, beg at the local markets and cuddle with anyone who will give them attention. It seems like a wonderfully free life, but it’s not as good as it looks. If a dog is homeless and unsterilized it can be legally shot by the local dog ranger.

The Esther Honey Foundation (www.estherhoney.org) is a veterinary clinic working to get as many dogs on the island spayed or neutered as possible. Its services are totally free and help to not only sterilize homeless dogs, but sterilize owned animals as well as provide overall heath care for the island’s pets. They’ve managed to convince the local police department to collaborate with them on a spay and neuter strategy – sadly the police won’t stop shooting dogs in the meantime.

Some of the organizations featured in the "Gone Wild" are non-profits or charities needing donations to continue doing their valuable and essential work helping animals. This includes sterilization, medical care, food and finding them forever homes whenever possible. To get involved, please click on How to Help.

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