Pet owners defy Marikina ban

City vet defends local law


CHA-CHA, a Pomeranian dog, caged at the animal pound in Barangay Concepcion, Marikina City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“It’s like I’m living under martial law. I’m always scared.”

“Jenny” is actually too young to have experienced life during the Marcos dictatorship, but she finds it a fitting metaphor for the way she and her neighbors in Marikina City have been protecting their cherished companions—their dogs.

The 19-year-old resident has been hiding two dogs inside her house in a resettlement area in Barangay (village) Malanday, where it is considered illegal under a local law to own pets.

Local government officials maintain that the ban, enforced under Ordinance No. 156, only makes sure that animals will not end up in areas, like relocation sites, where their needs may not be fully met. The city veterinarian, for example, said it was also intended to protect residents from diseases and the animals from maltreatment.

But animal welfare advocates have assailed the 1996 measure for being discriminatory against the poor who, they said, can be responsible pet owners.

Jenny said “men in white” from City Hall had been “aggressive” in rounding up pets in the barangay, prompting residents like her to hide their pets.

She had to do it for the sake of her dear Che-Che and Champ.

“I’ve seen it with my own eyes: The animals (kept in the pound) are dying,” she said as she gazed at her two dogs then lying quietly on the floor.

Jenny had a third dog, Cha-cha, which was seized by City Hall workers and placed in the animal shelter in Barangay Concepcion on March 22. Cha-cha got caught after slipping through the gate which had been left open by her house guests that day.

“I heard people shouting, ‘Ay, Cha-cha! Cha-cha!’ and I saw four men catch her with a noose at the end of a rod. The dog was crying,” said “Julia,” Jenny’s sister.

Jenny said she had since visited Cha-cha in the shelter about 10 times. The once playful dog, she said, had become thinner, sad and passive in its cage.

She repeatedly tried to reclaim Cha-cha but the people manning the shelter always cited the ordinance.

“It’s so unfair. Do they know how we take care of Cha-cha? Just because we live in a depressed area doesn’t mean we are irresponsible,” she explained.

Another Malanday resident who identified himself only as Ruben said he had also been hiding four dogs and a cat inside his house. “I’d rather die first before they take my pets away from me,” he said. His pets are his source of “good luck,” added Ruben, a tricycle operator.

He maintained that he had never been remiss in his responsibilities as a pet owner. He always bought them pet food and had the dogs vaccinated with antirabies shots. “So tell me: Am I irresponsible?” he asked.

Dr. Manuel Carlos, head of the City Veterinary Office in charge of implementing the ordinance, acknowledged that complaints had been raised against the ban.

“I hope they understand. Never mind if some of them get mad at me, just as long as the majority (believe it’s a good law),” he said.

He said the law could never be considered “antipoor” since its only intent was to protect the residents in resettlement areas from diseases and the pets from possible cruelty.

Local authorities had already given the residents ample time to have their pets transferred to other places, he said.

Carlos also denied that animals at the shelter were being neglected. “There are two caretakers there. Food is cooked for the animals. Anybody can check this.”

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  • Horst Manure

    Good stuff animals are a live creature and need food water and exercise not put in a cage to die, put the owners in the cage for a day and let them see what it is like.
    ban dog jails as well

  • Jake Lopez

    Instead of banning pets, Marikina should simply teach responsible pet ownership to their right nutrition, scooping their poop and disposing them off properly, dry and clean cages or humane leash, not the wire_around_neck thing.

  • mavtan

    There are actually people who neglect their pets. My neighbor, a middle class family has 3 full grown dogs inside a 1m x 1m cage and let them exposed to full sun the whole day. I tried my best reporting it to the barangay, but it seems our barangay are not even concerned about animal cruelty and has so many excuses. But I dont support this City ordinance, pet lovers should fight this ordinance.

    • Edmaira Manfoste Palmero

      un barangay niyo indi sila pet LOVER,kaya wala sila pakialam kung ano nangyayari sa mga aso

    • Ruthie

      you can report it to PALS or PAWS po

  • gibo772000

    I like what BF and his wife had done to Marikina.

    But this ambitious animal control is really our of context.

    In North America, you can claim your lost pet by just paying a fee.

  • Janeil Tibayan

    maybe they should implement a case-to-case inspection since there may be poor families who are actually caring for their pets and are thus prejudiced by this law

  • vin reyes

    dapat alisin na yang ban na yan, pabayaan na lang sila..kung saan saan lang mauuwi ang usapan dyan..pati martial law nasilip pa pambihira kelan pa ba naging street parliamentarian yang mga alagang aso? ang gawin na lang ng lokal na pamahalaan ng marikina e patawan ng mabigat na parusa ang mga may alagang mga aso kung sakaling ito e maka disgrasya ng ibang tao sa lugar nila..may mga karapatan din ang mga kapibahay nyo hindi lang kayo..pabayaan nyo lang silang mag-alaga basta wag lang maka-kagat..

  • Edmaira Manfoste Palmero

    meron mga tao na pag pinoy aso,indi nila gusto,andun pinababayaan,katayin,at masagasaan,pero pag asong in4ted,mahal nila todo gastos pa,sana un may nag aalaga na aso,kung palalabasin nila para mag wiwi,at dudumi,sana bantayan nila,responsibilidad nila yan,kawawa naman ang mga aso pag nahuhuli ng mga tanod,andun kinakaladkad na nakatali,kawawa naman ang mga aso,sana lahat ng tao mapagmahal sa aso,at indi kasalanan ng aso kung sila ay makakagat ng tao,dahil kapabayaan ng amo nila,ang papael ng aso sa mundo,ay kumahol at mangagat kung kailailanga,dahil alm nila kung my tao.

    • Noneed Toknow

      absolutely..they love the breed not the dog.

  • butch ignacio

    dapat pet owners ni require magkaroon ng pet license dito sa amin maraming mga pakalat kalat na aso pinababayaan

  • Rey Xerxes Alejandro Dizon

    there are other options than to just ban pet owning in a resettlement area,
    like, teach the residence to become more responsible, have an inspector to look around for improvements and to advice the people whether if no improvements their pet should be taken away. the local gov. of marikina will have difficulties in just confiscating pets,
    for example they are not thinking if the shelter will be overpopulated with pets, can they handle those much? it’s not good to see the pets suffer from malnutrition due to overpopulation in a pound! like for instance Cha-Cha a Pomeranian in the picture, is that microwave safe container and a biscuit container good for them? they look dirty and unhealthy! I think they are not cleaning it!

  • alfred sanchez

    paws, peta mga papansin lang, mabuti nga yan dito sa amin mga aso at pusa pakalat kalat lang pag nakakagat bigla na lang wala daw may ari asong gala daw pero pag nasagasaan mo kung sino sino ang owner na umaangkin bayaran or ipagamot mo daw

    • Noneed Toknow

      Ang PAWS po ay non government org.Why do you say papansin sila? Do you even know the efforts that they do to save pets neglected by humans and educate people about responsible ownership?pumunta ka sa website nila at MAGBASA ka. Ikaw, ano nagawa mo para ma solusyonan ang issue na ito?You only care to comment but why not share advice and prove to us that you really walk the talk.Dyan naman kayo magaling,pumuna ng gawa ng ibang tao pero sarili nyo hanggang reklamo at kibit balikat lang kayo.Sana isi

      • alfred sanchez

        kagaya ng sinabi ko tama lang ang ordinansa ginawa nila, ang paws ba pag nakagat ang asong gala na pinagtatanggol nila sagot ba nila? kung concern talaga sila sa hayop e d sana kunin nila yung mga asong gala or pusang gala o kasuhan nila yung may ari nito para hindi makaabala ng ibang tao, o baka naman hindi ka pa nakakatuntong sa mga mahirap na lugar kaya hindi mo alam pinagsasasabi mo

  • erlyn trinidad

    yes may food. pero lugaw na wala namang meat. tapos halo halo, may sakit at wala magkakatabi. depressing ung itsura ng pound.

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