City vet vaccinates 30,787 dogs in first sem

BAGUIO CITY – The city veterinary office (CVO), in partnership with other government and non-government agencies, has vaccinated 30,787 out of 50,000 dogs in the city and neutered 97 dogs and cats in the first semester of this year

City veterinarian Brigit Piok said 1,229 stray dogs were impounded during the period and with the help of barangays, the dog traps given them by her office yielded 83 dogs impounded.

She explained that impounding stray dogs is one of the strategies in controlling dog bites which is the most common way of transmitting rabies to humans.

"Protecting public health and safety by catching stray dogs is not easy. Some members of our impounding team had been accidentally bitten during operations. Add to that, they were also harassed by irresponsible dog owners," Piok claimed.

She said that several weeks ago, the impounding team's picture while putting a dog in the cage with a loop went viral on social media by animal welfare advocates as if the dog was hanging.

Piok stressed that in reality, the one shown in the picture only took seconds and not even a minute, so the dog is safe and suffered minimal pain. She pointed out that the loop method CVO is using is approved by the animal welfare committee.

"An animal welfare advocate called me and said, 'pwede ba, huwag na kayong manghuli ng dogs kasi nasasaktan kami'," Piok said and answered that it is her office's mandate to prevent and control rabies.

"Naaawa ako sa mga tao at aso na maaaring makagat at mahawa ng mga sakit mula sa mga galang aso (stray dogs). How about those people, especially children who could not pass through because they are afraid of stray dogs in pathways and streets that might bite them?" she added.

Piok said stray dogs are a nuisance to the public and traffic and they spread rabies and other diseases like parasites, mange or galis aso to other dogs and people. Catching stray dogs is one activity encouraged by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health to prevent and control dog bites and further spread of rabies, she added.

"There should be a balance between animal welfare and human welfare," Piok stressed. She is asking the public to help her office inform their friends, relatives and neighbors to be responsible pet owners.

"Animal welfare is human welfare. Pet owners should keep their dogs within their compound or else don't keep a dog if you don't have space for them in your homes. Isn't it that pet owners benefit from their pets, so their pets deserve utmost care by keeping them home and not letting them loose," Piok said.-gaby keith

 
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