February 28, 2024

The City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) warned owners and handlers of St. Bernard dogs being used for pictorials at different parks and tourist spots in the city after validation of complaints relating to health and safety.

A social media post in 2018 regarding the sorry state of several St. Bernard dogs used for pictorials in city parks and tourist spots is being re-circulated online prompting the CVAO to conduct validation and monitoring on Nov. 7.

A team led by veterinarians Dr. Wilson Malingan and Dr. Hyden Luma-ang visited Wright Park and found one dog on display during the inspection – although usually, there are two to three dogs on display during tourism peak season.

The dog was provided with shade, chair, food, and water while being displayed from 8 a.m. to noon. While the dog appeared healthy, the owner could not provide vaccination records of the dog nor any business/special permit on site.

At The Mansion, one dog was seen being used for pictorials but usually there are five handles with different dogs being rotated at the spot according to the CVAO team.

During the inspection at The Mansion, the dog was found apparently healthy but also without vaccination cards or permits presented. The dog owner provides shade, chair, food, and water for the pet.

In Mines View, only one of 12 dogs being used for pictorial was seen during the inspection. The CVAO team said dogs are being rotated every four hours for the spot.

While the Securities and Exchange Commission registration of Mines View St. Bernard Dog Pictorial Association Inc., is being displayed on site, city veterinarians reported that there are also no vaccination cards or special permit presented.

In Lion’s Head, Kennon Road, a nine-year old dog was seen on site for pictorials. Similar to the other dogs in Wright Park, The Mansion and Mines View, the dog handlers could not provide vaccination cards or permits.

City Veterinary and Agriculture Officer Silardo Bested reminded dog owners and handlers on their responsibilities and that a special permit from the City Business Permits and Licensing Division is required for the use of the dogs as a source of livelihood through pictorials. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan