Concerted LGU effort to address stray animals needed
Things are looking up for the animal welfare community. First is the announcement of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to put up an animal shelter for the strays in his city, and second is the call of Ang Probinsyano party list Rep. Ronnie Ong for the intensification of neutering and spaying programs in local government units (LGUs). These are plans at the moment, but still, we in the animal welfare community hope and pray that their well-meaning intentions push through.
Some LGUs like Makati have been running programs for free neuter and spay services in their barangays. There is also free microchipping service and free rabies vaccination. I’ve heard that Parañaque and San Juan also have free “kapon” services for dogs and cats. This is all well and good. But the daily calls and posts on social media for help and rescue of dogs and cats that have been abandoned, neglected, abused or maltreated by sick human beings and irresponsible pet owners never stop and have become disheartening.
Individual animal rescuers like me can only do so much. It is time for a major and concerted effort to at least manage the problem of strays in our country. Rounding up stray animals and
containing them in overcrowded cages like sardines in animal pounds do not solve the stray problem. Don’t people know that if contained animals are not adopted or claimed in 3-5 days, the poor animals are euthanized, and the manner of euthanasia is mostly by gunshot? Pet owners who have given up on their pets because of misbehavior, etc., and who eventually surrender them to animal pounds are not aware that they are sending the animals to their death.
Facebook pages of animal welfare groups are full of posts calling for immediate adoption of contained animals in dog pounds before they are put to sleep. Some groups have valiantly stepped up, and this cycle goes on and on, but they can’t respond to all calls for help. This is where the LGUs should step in, by intensifying free kapon services in all barangays year-round and conducting seminars or public awareness information drives on responsible pet ownership, among others.
Here’s hoping that the initiatives of the mentioned government officials translate into concrete programs.
PAMELA I. CLAVERIA,
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