DAGUPAN CITY – The city government will soon impound stray animals in the city to keep the citizenry safe from animal bites and rabies.

This was announced by Mayor Belen T. Fernandez during the free anti-rabies vaccination of pets in Barangay IV on January 18.

At least 145 pets were given shots of anti-rabies vaccine on that day by the City Veterinary Office led by Dr. Daniel Paolo Garcia along with free consultation, deworming and medications against mange (galis), ticks and fleas.

Last year, the City Veterinary Office vaccinated at least 9,500 pets and for this year Fernandez expressed hope that the city will be able to reach out to at least 10,000 dogs.

Dra. Ophelia T. Rivera, the city’s Health Officer, said that in 2017 the city recorded 4,717 number of patients treated from animal bites with no fatality.

Notably, the City Health Office recorded a yearly increase in the number of patients being treated for animal bites from 2014 to 2017.

In 2014, the CHO treated almost 1,500 patients; in 2015, more than 2,000 and  in  2016, more than 3,000.

Rivera disclosed that the increase was due to the fact that the citizenry has become more aware on the importance of anti-rabies vaccination on top of the fact that the vaccine is now given for free by the city health office.

The city, in the implementation of the Artikulo 21, has already issued violation tickets to owners of stray animals in the whole city.

The impoundment of stray animals is mandated by City Ordinance No. 1813-2004 otherwise known as “Establishing the Dagupan City Pound, Defining its Basic Operations, and for other related purposes”.

Under the ordinance, stray animals will be seized and held in the custody of the law under the direction of the City Veterinary Office.

The owner or possessor shall have a maximum period of three working days from onset of confinement to claim his stray animal from the City Pound.

Animals not claimed within the period given by the ordinance will be sold at public auction or will be offered for adoption by persons with proven humaneness.

Owners will then be collected the following fees for each day of impoundment of each head of stray animal caught roaming in public places, for cattle, horse and carabao, P100; dog, P50; and other animals, P30. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Jan. 19, 2018)