The City Veterinary Office (CVO) here has authorized barangay officials to issue citation tickets to careless dog owners who allow their pets to roam the streets, which has resulted in bite and rabies cases, as well as vehicular accidents.
CVO chief Dr. Emmanuel Estipona, in an interview on Tuesday, said all 70 villages in this city would create a Barangay Rabies Prevention and Control Committee and Barangay Responsible Owner of Dog Committee (BRODC), as mandated in the Responsible Pet Ownership Ordinance that has just been approved by the Legazpi City Council.
The ordinance prescribes guidelines and regulations for the effective implementation of rabies prevention and control programs by imposing penalties on violators.
Estipona said pet owners should make sure their animals are always in their backyard and prevent them from going out into the streets.
He said those who would violate the ordinance and refuse or fail to register and immunize their pets would be fined PHP5,000 for each animal.
Residents found committing animal cruelty and maltreatment, as well as dog trading, would also be fined the same amount.
“Those persons allowing their pets to urinate and defecate outside in public places and streets will be fined PHP2,000 and those pet owners of stray dogs roaming in the streets and other public places would also be fined PHP3,000,” Estipona added.
He said barangay officials, including their deputized agents, would conduct house-to-house monitoring and orientation to inform pet owners of the provisions of the ordinance.
Estipona also said a Barangay Responsible Owner of Dogs Enforcement Team (BRODET) would be created in every village to disseminate campaign materials on responsible pet ownership and animal welfare programs.
”The BRODET would also give counseling for pet owners who are encountering medical and behavioral problems with their pets,” he said, adding that the BRODET should encourage and motivate people to become responsible pet owners and prevent any form of animal abuse.
Estipona said his office has impounded 321 stray dogs since January this year and had 8,901 dogs vaccinated against rabies from January to June. (PNA)