The head of a team aiming to desex and microchip 800 dogs on Cook Island's Rarotonga over the next four months, says it will help make the dog population on the island much more manageable.
The team, which is supported by the Cook Islands SPCA, and also includes veterinary staff from New Zealand and India, aims to desex and microchip about 10 dogs per day over four months in order to reach their target of operating on about half of the non-desexed dogs on the island.
SPCA Cook Islands manager Tony Jamieson said the lack of population control had caused a number of issues on Rarotonga.
"We do experience more accidents on the roads with roaming dogs, they tend to get in packs and cause dramas with fighting , and they tend to get into rubbish bins and some of the unruly behaviour that associate with large dog numbers."
The programme, which started last week, will also include flea treatment and worming, as well as education about animal welfare.
"Being able to engage with the public and communities it enables us to talk to people a bit more about animal welfare and the basic care of animals," Mr Jamieson said.
"Such as providing water at all times, shelter, types of food and general basics like grooming and other things they may not have access to."
He said that it was a positive thing for Rarotonga to have healthier looking dogs on the island too, especially for tourism.
The programme is being run by the Cook Islands SPCA in conjunction with Care Vets NZ and Te Are Manu, with primary funding from Dogs Trust UK.