Tacloban wants to be rabies-free, heightens pet vaccination drive
TACLOBAN CITY –– The veterinary office here has intensified its campaign on pet vaccination in all barangays to regain this city’s “rabies-free” status.
“Sometimes, we do this through door-to-door vaccination to ensure that all dogs will be vaccinated,” said Dr. Eunice Alcantara, head of the City Veterinary Office (CVO).
Of its 16,800 target this year, the veterinary office has already vaccinated more than 8,400 dogs.
“We are encouraging our pet owners to have their dogs vaccinated for their safety. This is free,” she said.
Alcantara said they have 1,800 vials of vaccines which is more than enough for the needed 1,600 vials.
One vial could vaccinate 10 dogs.
Tacloban City was the only rabies-free area in the entire Eastern Visayas region in the past 14 years.
The record was broken after a 27-year-old man from Barangay 94-A died last June 30 after he was bitten by their six-month-old dog.
The man and dog died hours apart on the same day.
“The last time we have a case of human death due to rabies was in 2004 involving a 19-year-old man who butchered a dog for their pulutan (appetizer),” Alcantara said.
For the city to reclaim its “rabies-free” status, she said it needs to have zero cases for the next five years or until 2025.
Part of CVO’s campaign is to go after stray dogs.
As of June 2020, at least 1,279 stray dogs have been impounded in Tacloban City.
Owners of these dogs could recover them only after paying a fine of P2,000 as mandated under the Animal Code of Tacloban.
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