11 Jan 2019

Vet shortage causes worries in American Samoa

9:34 am on 11 January 2019

Pet owners in American Samoa are concerned that the veterinarian at the Department of Agriculture is finishing her contract this month and no one is due to take over her duties.

A vet putting a microchip implant into a cat.

Photo: 123RF

Kristen Jenson has been the territory's only veterinarian since 2015 .

She was due to finish this week but the department extended her contract until 28 January with the hope that a replacement could be found.

Director of Agriculture Filifaatali Mike Fuiava said it had been hard to attract a veterinarian from off-island.

He said the salary for a qualified vet is available but they just haven't been able to attract the right fit.

Filifaatali said he was praying that by the time the current vet leaves the island they would have someone in line to take over.