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San Juan to hold as responsible owners of pets

MANILA, Philippines — The San Juan City government is ramping up efforts to properly enforce a 2009 ordinance that seeks to regulate animal and pet behavior in the city through another ordinance that empowers civilians to report stray pets.

Ordinance No. 9, Series of 2013, enacted by the San Juan City Council and approved by Mayor Guia Gomez on February this year, allows any person to take a video of stray pets and unguarded pets who defecate in public places in the city.

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“The City Government of San Juan shall allow any person to conduct non-contact apprehension by taking video on pets (dogs, cats, birds, fighting cocks) caught straying, roaming, or defecating on public places until these pets return to their respective owners,” the ordinance read.

“The video may be presented as proof … to the City Veterinary Office, in order for the said office to make the necessary action,” it added.

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The ordinance states that allowing pet animals to stray into the city’s streets unguarded is a violation of the San Juan City Veterinary Code adopted in 2009, which states that “no person shall allow their pets to stray or roam on public places, streets, or plazas.”

Moreover, the Veterinary Code does not allow “any person owning or having custody of any dog to permit the animal to urinate or defecate in public or upon the private property of another within the city.”

Penalties await pet owners found violating the ordinance. A warning will be served to them in the first offense, while a fine of P500 will be charged in the second offense.

If caught violating the ordinance for a third time, the owners would be fined P1,000 and would be jailed for two days. Their pets will also be confiscated.

The ordinance took effect immediately after being publicized.

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