An alarming rise in the presence of stray dogs in city streets and highways has been blamed on the lack of dog pounds or animal shelters in the local government units (LGU) in Bohol.
Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, of the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian told DYRD Balita that majority of LGUs have ignored the stray dog problem in their localities due to the lack of funds for the construction and maintenance of dog pounds.
Living with stray dogs is now an accepted fact of life in the cities and villages and the dangers related to them even as a “dog impounding movement control program” was deemed a failure in the absence of a dog pound.
Statistics from the Provincial Vet Office showed that of the 47 towns and one city in Bohol, only 11 municipalities have dog shelters including Tagbilaran City.
1st class municipalities are required to establish and maintain a dog pound, according to RA 9482 known as the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 while other municipalities are encouraged to share expenses with adjoining municipalities in the establishment and maintenance of dog pounds.
An increasing number of dog related accidents involving motor vehicles has been reported as owners turn a deaf ear over calls for responsible dog ownership.
The push for a rabies free Bohol has been hampered by the sheer lack of concern by pet owners who allow their dogs to roam the streets and disowning ownership of their dogs when confronted by complaints of dog biting incidents.
According to Lapiz, more than 82% of the estimated 100,000 dogs in Bohol has been vaccinated for rabies.
RA 9482 also requires all pet owners to have their dogs regularly vaccinated and maintain control over their dogs and not allow it to roam the streets or any public place without a leash.
The law also requires owners to report within 24 hours any dog biting incident to concerned officials and assist the dog bite victim immediately and shoulder all medical expenses.
For their part, the LGU’s are mandated to strictly enforce dog impounding activities and field control to eliminate stray dogs. (Chito M.Visarra with reports from Rey Tutas)