The Dumaguete City Veterinary Office trained more than 50 dog catchers before the full implementation of Ordinance No. 69, that will establish a mobile holding pen for dogs in all the 30 barangays of the city.
The two-day training held last week was attended by two representatives each from the barangays, who will be the authorized dog catchers in their areas.
CVO heads, Dr. Lourdes Socorro, said the training was shouldered by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visayas Rabies Program that has consistently assisted and helped the city in its anti-rabies program.
Aside from dog-catching, the participants were also oriented on the provisions of the Rabies Act of the Philippines, the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, and City Ordinance No. 69, authored by Councilor Dan Leon and co-authored by councilors Frank Esmena, Jose Victor Imbo, Antonio Remollo and Lionel Banogon.
Under the ordinance, mobile holding pens described as portable trailers and designed to be towed by barangay multicab service vehicles, with portable removal cages intended to secure stray dogs captured or impounded, will be built with the assistance of the City Engineer's Office under the supervision of the CVO.
Socorro said the ordinance is in line with the declared policy of the State to protect and promote the right to health of the people, including Dumagueteños. A system of control and prevention of the spread and eventual eradication of human and animal rabies, and the need for responsible pet ownership, is expected to be established, she added.
Actual dog catching was done after a series of lectures, including a night operation where the skills of the trainees were evaluated.
The trained dog catchers include 14 barangay kagawads and 19 tanods. Under the ordinance, they are deputized to fully implement the law in their barangays. The barangay captain shall make an inventory of all captured stray dogs, indicating the brief physical condition of each dog and the place where it was captured. The inventory shall be posted in two conspicuous places in the barangay and owners of the captured dogs will immediately be notified.
A Barangay Bantay Rabies Committee is expected to be established in their areas, that will submit quarterly and updated dog population by household, designate an animal control officer as its head which will survey dog population and enforce dog impounding activities.
Animal control officers in the 30 barangays shall be required to inform all owners before the massive collection of stray dogs will be undertaken.
A fine of P500 will be imposed on the owner of the captured stray dog, to be paid to the City Treasurer's Office within 24 hours of the dog's capture, or the animal will be delivered to the city dog pound, where it can be placed for adoption, sold, or humanely euthanized, in accordance with Section 12 of Ordinance No. 15, series of 2009.
The fines collected from the stray dog operations shall be shared by both the barangay which caught the dog and the city government, in a 70-30 scheme, and will be used to maintain the mobile dog holding pens.
The trainors include CVO staff Wilson Romano, Nathaniel Silva, Gil Renado, Inocencia Ozoa and Jo Umbac. The barangays that failed to send their representatives are Balugo, Calindagan, Motong and Pulantubig.*JG
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