Advocating responsible pet ownership

ANIMAL lovers and their furry friends trooped to Rizal Park last Saturday, Oct. 1, to socialize, exercise, and avail of the useful lessons made available during the launching of the Anti-rabies and Responsible Pet Ownership campaign 2016.

 Initiated by the Animal Welfare Coalition as well as various animal welfare advocacy groups in the city, the campaign was also held simultaneously in other cities in observance of World Rabies Day last Sept. 28 and for World Animal on Oct. 4.

Dr. Jeffrey Chua, AWC board of director said the campaign was launched in Davao city to call for more pet owners to get their animals vaccinated against rabies, especially as the city still has a high number of cases compared to other cities in the country.

In a report by the TIMES last July, the Department of Health said there were 11,342 animal bite cases from January to March 2016, wherein seven human rabies cases were detected.

City veterinarian Cerelyn Pinili in an interview said that as of August, they were able to vaccinate 103, 000 pets, and are targeting 110, 000 by the end of the year.

“We are concentrating vaccination drives mostly in the poblacion area [because of the volume of people susceptible], but everyone is free to visit the City Vet’s office for the free rabies vaccination on their pet,” she said, adding clients only need to bring an unused syringe per pet they want vaccinated.

Free vaccination and consultation with city vets were also available during the event.

Meanwhile, AWC president Dr. Cessna Ferreras encouraged animal lovers to report cases of animal abuse and cruelty.

Kabang, the dog who lost her upper jaw after she pushed her owner’s child out of a motorcycle’s way, and Pacquiao, who was saved and operated on by local vets and donors after he was shot in the mouth by a cruel neighbor a few months ago, were present at the event as a way to remind pet owners that people who had very little regard for their lives of animals are still rampant, and it is everyone’s responsibility to give a voice for defenseless creatures and demand justice.

Dr. Armi Capuyan of the Bureau of Animal Industry highlighted the five freedoms every animal in a human home must have: freedoms from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury and disease, freedom to express natural behavior, and the freedom from fear and distress.

Darella Kate, a staunch advocate for the ‘adopt, don’t’ shop’ for pets movement and animal welfare, represented presidential son Sebastian Duterte along with their son, Yair Duterte. (with report from Yas D. Ocampo)

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