City conducts actual dog population census

BAGUIO CITY – With the Responsible Pet Ownership and Stray Dog Control Program of the city government here, the City Veterinary Office is at the moment conducting actual census of animal population in the city of pines.

Apart from the actual census in every barangay, information materials regarding responsible pet ownership is also being distributed to all households in the city.

City veterinarian, Dr. Brigit Piok stressed that Baguio has no actual data on dog population and what is being used by their office is just a rough estimate.

Piok disclosed that an average of 120 stray dogs are impounded every month and it seems dog owners are not being alarmed with the danger theses stray dogs can bring. Thus, there is a need to strengthen the campaign to minimize, if not, eradicate stray dogs.

“One of the aims of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the National Rabies Prevention and control Committee is to vaccinate at least 80% of the estimated dog population in the country or about seven million dogs yearly for the next two years,” said Piok.

The conduct of census aims to increase public awareness on responsible pet ownership, to control the population of stray dogs and eventually reduce the risk of rabies transmission, to have realistic data on the population of dogs in the city, to encourage barangays to register all dogs in their barangays in compliance to city ordinance no. 09 of 2008, to ensure that the barangays have done something in the elimination and control of stray dogs in their respective jurisdictions, and to protect human as well as animal health.

Based on records, the city veterinary office has vaccinated 17,268 dogs and cats serving 10,733 pet owners for the first semester.

On animal bite cases in human, there were 2,094 dog bite cases while 320 other animal bite cases for the same period. The CVO has vaccinated 2,304 animal bite victims.

In the monitoring of rabies cases in dogs, Happy Home Old Lucban barangay was recorded to have positive cases last semester.

Considering that rabies is a public health problem worldwide, it is the mandate of local government units to ensure that all dogs are registered under Republic Act 9482 also known as the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007.

With the on-going animal population survey, the CVO has already covered around 35 barangays in the city. Out of the 17,448 households covered, there are 8,599 who are dog owners.

Moreover, from July 1 to August 15 survey, there are 16,855 dogs; 1,607 cats; 9,361 chicken; 1,430 other avian (birds, ducks, goose, etc.); and 1,113 swine recorded in the Baguio.

“The most frequent way that human become infected with rabies is through the bite of infected dogs, thus, monitoring and control of stray dog population is still one of the important and effective tools for the prevention or rabies in man and animals,” said Piok./JhoArranz