Dog birth control to fight rabies
The Cebu City government’s Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries speaheaded yesterday the annual Asong Pinoy (Aspin) Day by giving free anti-rabies vaccines, neutering and a dog show.
Around 400 dogs of different breeds availed of the free services yesterday.
“Even pure breeds, we still served them,” said Dr. Alice Utlang, city veterinarian.
The dog show was limited only to Aspins.
The canine population in Cebu, according to the city vetenerian, is about 67,400 of which 32,000 of them are females.
Utlang said 99.9 percent of these dogs were owned but were neglected.
“The main purpose of the event is to have birth control among dogs,” Utlang said.
She mentioned that the most number of city dogs are males which is the main factor for the increase of dogs.
She mentioned that dogs are highly aggressive in terms of sexual intercourse.
She said that the program for dog population control is important to minimize the copulation of dogs. The program focused on castrating the male dogs and spaying of female dogs.
Castration involves the surgical removal of the male dog’s testicle, while spaying involves surgical removal of a female dog’s uterus and ovary.
For two years the event is spearheaded by the Island Rescue Organization (IRO), a non-government organization headed by Nena Hernandez, founder and president.
This was conceived in 2010 and during its first year, the Cebu City government through the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries spearheaded the event.
The city government has been coordinating with IRO for the protection and promotion for the welfare of stray dogs or locally known as “askals.”
The dog show covered major awards of Best in Talent, Best in Costume and Best in Looking Aspin. Winners of the different awards were given dog freebies like one sack of dog foods and dog medicine supply.
Utlang said that because they were given grants from different non-government organizations including some foreign groups, their vaccines and other dog medicines “are more than enough.”
“We can serve up to 1,000 to 10,000 stray dogs since we have so much supplies of vaccines,” she said.
Utlang said this year, the department has 54, 000 doses of vaccines worth $50,000 or about P2.2 million from the Women’s International Society.
The city government has given them a budget of 1.5 million this year.
Utlang said yesterday that they only spent foods for the workers.
Almost 400 dogs were served during last year’s event; while on the first year, only 175 dogs registered.
Since the event received grants from different non-government organizations, Utlang said, “we can offer free services to dog owners who want to avail services.”
The vaccination and services for dogs began last month in front of City Hall, every 3 p.m.
“We want all dogs in Cebu City to be registered, to identify owners and to prevent rabies based on the RA 9482 or Anti-Rabies Act.
“If not registered there will be P2,000 penalty to the owner,” she said.
Staffers of the department will be roaming around the barangay to check if dogs are registered.
She challenged dog owners to “be responsible dog owners.”
Utlang is hoping that whatever breed of dogs, there will be no selection to avail the vaccination. /Tweeny M. Malinao, Correspondent
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