Dogs ‘on death row’ up for adoption in Bulacan pound

Animal welfare organization Pawssion Project is calling on animal lovers to save dogs from being terminated at a Bulacan pound.

Pawssion Project announced last Thursday, Oct. 15, that 100 dogs and a number of cats were on “death row” because they had been in the City of San Jose Del Monte (SJDM) pound for over a month.

The shelter’s founder, Malou Perez, told in a phone interview that they have raised enough funds to pay the adoption fee of 100 dogs from the city pound. The fee is P500 per dog, which includes an anti-rabies vaccine and free spaying or neutering.

The rescue operation will take place tomorrow, Oct. 21. Perez said volunteers are welcome to help.

Pawssion Project can accommodate 30 dogs into their shelter, also located at the City of San Jose Del Monte. Those interested in adopting a dog can either visit their shelter or the city pound.

She said that if one wants to get a dog from the pound, they can contact Pawssion Project so that the adoption fee will be covered. Meanwhile, adopting from Pawssion Project is free and involves a screening process.

Euthanasia a last resort

Dr. Alejandro Sison, Veterinarian I at the City of San Jose Del Monte pound, said in a phone interview with that euthanizing dogs is a last resort and that they make efforts to have the dogs adopted first.

Sison explained that according to the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007, impounded dogs that go unclaimed after three days can be placed for adoption or euthanized. He said too that there is pressure to euthanize dogs when they cannot accommodate barangays’ dog-catching requests.

“Kami rin ang nahihirapan kasi unang-una, ang pakainan. Iyong finance, ang hirap sa city government ngayon (We are also struggling because we have to feed [the dogs]. Finances are hard with the city government now),” he said.

He explained that the P500 adoption fee is also to avoid people who will pretend to adopt a dog but give it up for dog meat trading.

The pound prioritizes city residents as adopters because home visits are conducted to check on the welfare of the dog. They also allow those living outside the city to adopt dogs, but those they cannot monitor.

He noted that those who adopt from the pound get free spaying or neutering services and also get free treatments at the city veterinary hospital.

According to Perez, the SJDM pound feeds its animals twice a day and has them treated for illnesses, but the city budget is limited with the coronavirus pandemic.

For those who cannot adopt, she said they can donate food to the pound or opt to sponsor a rescued dog through Pawssion Project, which costs P1,000 a month until the dog is adopted. The organization is also accepting cash donations since they are building kennels for the new rescues.

For those who want to donate in kind, collars and leashes, cages and travel crates, dog food, meat and rice both for the shelter and the pound are needed.

Pawssion Project was founded in October 2018 after it rescued dogs in Bacolod set to be killed by gunshots. Its shelters currently house about 300 dogs and are located at SJDM and Bacolod.  /ra


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