Legal action vs irresponsible pet owners in Baguio sought
In her resolution approved by the city council last Jan. 31, Councilor Betty Lourdes requested and authorized the City Legal Office, in coordination with the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office, to take legal action against violators of Ordinance 19, s. 2021 or the Responsible Dog Ownership Ordinance of Baguio City when there are no offended private parties involved.
Tabanda said there are reports of violations committed by individuals due to their failure or occasional refusal, to carry out their roles and responsibilities as dog owners.
She also relayed reports of animal welfare groups in the city about dog owners refusing to claim their pets at the city pound, particularly in cases where the dogs are sick or in need of medical attention.
While there are personnel and offices tasked to apprehend violators of the ordinance, there are offenses where no private offended party is involved.
The councilor said it is the responsibility of the city government, through the City Legal Office, to pursue legal action against these violators in cases where there are no private offended parties involved.
“This willful and conscious negligence puts a heavy burden on the community and the city government and all the frontliners in the maintenance of a safe and healthy environment for all, humans and pets alike,” Tabanda said.
One major responsibility of the dog owner, as stipulated in the ordinance, is to acquire and maintain dogs only if they are capable of providing the care needed by dogs.
Dog owners are also mandated to have their pets registered and subjected for regular vaccination and maintain updated records and provide their dogs with grooming, adequate food, and clean shelter.
Pet owners must also maintain human-animal relationship and provide good health management program for their dogs; maintain control over their dogs with the use of a leash when in public places and collect and dispose their pets’ feces at all times; take all measures to prevent their dogs from being stray or nuisance; within 24 hours, report immediately any dog-biting incident and take the appropriate precaution; and assist dog-bit victims and shoulder all expenses incurred relative to the victim’s injuries. – Jordan G. Habbiling