Pet owners are reminded of their obligation to leash or secure their pets at home or inside their properties to avoid being impounded by the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) with corresponding penalties or subject to euthanasia if unclaimed.
Dr. Silardo Bested, CVAO department head, said stray dogs and cats are prohibited for safety reasons in Baguio City pursuant to the Anti-Rabies and Stray Dog-Free Ordinance.
He said the CVAO’s impounding team are regularly patrolling public thoroughfares for stray pets and at the same time constantly reminds barangay officials of their obligation as frontline service providers in their areas of jurisdiction.
An average of seven dogs are being impounded daily at the city pound, Bested said.
Recently, a concerned citizen voiced his concern on scattered feces along Rimando Road, seemingly on a daily routine.
“Not only is the stench unbearable, it’s also a nuisance to avoid it and even more troublesome if one steps on it. Motorcycles and other vehicles passing on the road would often run it over, spreading it throughout the road. Some residents clean it up, but it only takes a few hours before the stray dogs return and undo their cleaning,” the concerned citizen said.
Irresponsible dog owners are liable under Ordinance 19, s. 2021 or the Responsible Dog Ownership Ordinance of Baguio City.
The following are the dog owners’ responsibilities as enumerated in the ordinance:
They should only acquire and maintain dogs if they are capable and have the means to provide care; submit the dogs for mandatory registration and regular vaccination and maintaining updated records; provide their dogs with proper grooming, adequate food and clean shelter and maintain human-animal relationship and provide good health management programs for their dogs;
Maintain control over their dogs with the use of a leash when in public places and collect and dispose of their pets’ feces at all times; and take all measures to prevent their dogs from being stray or nuisance and report immediately any dog-biting incident and take appropriate precaution, and assist dog bite victims and shoulder all expenses incurred relative to the victim’s injuries.
The ordinance also mandates the registration of pets with the CVAO or the barangay along with their mandatory vaccination.
As of September, there are 34,639 registered dogs in the city per CVAO records. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan