Dog ownership edict OK’d, mandates dog registration
Registration of dogs three months and up through provision of tags, microchipping, or other safe and reliable means is now mandatory in Baguio City.
The city council approved on Feb. 8 the Responsible Dog Ownership Ordinance, authored by Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda, which is a codification of the city’s legislations on dog ownership.
Tabanda has introduced amendments to provisions of some ordinances on dog ownership taking into account laws that prescribe rules in the care, maintenance, and disposition of dogs and some concerns raised by dog owners during public consultations.
Under the ordinance, a certificate will be issued upon registration of the dog. The certificate contains the dog’s identity number, which will be permanent, except in cases of transfer of ownership.
The methods of registration may be done through microchipping, dog-tagging, or other means determined to be safe and reliable by the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) and at the discretion of the dog owner.
If the owner chooses registration through the tag, the dog tag must be with a collar to be worn on the pet. The size, prescribed by the CVAO, must be big enough to contain the registration number and the name and address of the owner.
If the owner chooses registration through microchipping, the microchip must also contain the registration number and the name and address of the owner. All microchips should be implanted by an authorized veterinarian. The manner of implantation should be at the option of the owner who must execute a certificate of consent.
For efficient record-keeping, the CVAO will maintain an updated database of all the information which, if feasible, should include the dog owner’s name, address, contact number, email address, and other vital information; dog’s name, breed, sex, color, and other pertinent information; date of rabies vaccination/expiration; vaccine used; and veterinarian’s name.
The registration fee is P50 inclusive of the registration certificate. The microchip, if implanted at the CVAO, is P400.
Reissuance of lost, damaged, or updated certificates is P100.
The ordinance requires the mandatory vaccination of all dogs to be administered by a licensed veterinarian or a trained vaccinator. If the vaccination is done by a private veterinarian, the dog owner shall submit a record of proof of vaccination.
In case the dog has been vaccinated and implanted with a microchip by a private licensed veterinary practitioner, the owner shall bring the dog to the CVAO within 10 days for registration and identification for P100.
Dog owners who refuse/fail to have their dogs registered and vaccinated will be fined P2,000 pursuant to section 11 of Republic Act 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007.
The CVAO shall charge P80 per dog for the vaccination services. However, vaccination shall be free of charge during the Pasadang Pambarangay, first week of March in celebration of Anti- Rabies Month, World Rabies Day, and when the vaccines were obtained for free.
In case of death of the registered/microchipped dog, the owner shall inform the barangay within five days, then the latter shall inform the CVAO within five days for recording.
In case of transfer or change of ownership of a registered/microchipped dog, the first owner shall bring the dog to the CVAO for the change of registration. The new owner shall pay a registration fee of P100.
The ordinance prohibits owners from letting their dogs loose outside their premises or their pets will be seized and impounded.
An impounded dog shall be released to its owner upon paying P500 for each incident. The maintenance fee shall be P50 per day.
No dogs shall be released from the pound unless registered and vaccinated.
The CVAO shall dispose unclaimed dogs within three working days. The disposal will be through adoption or donation to schools or laboratories for scientific studies, public auction, or euthanasia.
The ordinance emphasizes that the CVAO shall encourage adoption of impounded dogs by qualified persons as the best option. The widest dissemination for dogs available for adoption shall be used. The adoption fee shall be P650.
According to the ordinance, a driver who accidentally runs over a dog in any public street, including subdivision roads shall not be held liable for any damage caused to the dog. The ordinance states that it is the responsibility of the owner to keep their dog away from danger by keeping the dog within their private property.
The ordinance also prescribes a fine of P5,000 per act or imprisonment for one to four years to any person involved in dog meat trade.
Under the ordinance, all dog breeders shall secure a business permit which shall only be granted upon certification of the CVAO in coordination with the Bureau of Animal Industry.
For registration purposes, a breeder shall be defined as any person or entity that keeps, maintains, or owns five or more breeding dogs for financial gain.
All kennel owners shall secure a sanitary permit from the City Health Services Office and an annual registration certificate at the CVAO and BAI. Kennel registration shall be P1,000 per year.
A kennel is defined as any facility, shed, barn, building, trailer, or any other structure intended to house domestic dogs for breeding, maintaining, keeping and/or training with a population of 20 dogs or more.
Dog breeders and kennel operators who fail to secure permits shall be fined P5,000 and shall be subject to closure of business.
In line with section 10 of Republic Act 9482, the CVAO shall undertake measures to control the dog population and minimize the number of unwanted stray dogs.
Such measures shall include undertaking educational and promotional campaigns on responsible pet ownership, on their spaying and neutering programs, and on the discounts granted by the office on registration fees. Dog spaying costs P1,500 while castration costs P1,000.
The CVAO, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, shall craft the implementing rules and regulations within 30 days from the approval of the ordinance.
The ordinance has been forwarded to the City Mayor’s Office. – Jordan G. Habbiling