Baguio pet owners told to avail of free spaying neutering

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BAGUIO CITY – City officials called on all pet owners in the city to have their pets spayed and neutered in the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) for free.

Under Resolution No. 556, series of 2021 signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, local legislators stated that it has been proven that spayed and neutered animals and pets are healthier and live longer compared to those which are not.

Republic Act (RA) No. 8485 otherwise known as the Animal Welfare Act as amended by RA 10631 were enacted for the purpose of protecting and promoting the welfare of all animals in the country.

Further, Section 2 of RA 10631 recognized the freedom of animals such as freedom from hunger and thirst, comfort, pain, injury or disease, and freedom to normal behavior from fear and distress.

The council disclosed that there are already too many homeless dogs and cats in the various private and public animals centers, including the city pound, which is already overburdened with stray animals caught from the streets in the various city barangays over the past several months.

According to the body, spaying female and neutering male pets will not only curb the stray animal population in the city but it will also reportedly decrease the number of bit incidents and euthanasia subject.

The council tasked the CVAO to conduct weekly spaying and neutering of pets and its premises or in the different barangays to accomplish the legislative intent of the aforesaid resolution.

Earlier, the local legislative body also passed an ordinance known as the Responsible Ownership Ordinance of the city to define the duties and responsibilities of the pet owners over their pets to prevent the proliferation of stray animals that pose a serious threat to the residents of the different barangays.

The said ordinances imposes stringent penalties against irresponsible pet owners who allow their pets to loiter outside their residences and allows barangay officials to establish their respective dog pounds to serve as a temporary shelter for the stray animals that will be caught in their respective areas of jurisdiction until such time that the owners shall have paid the fines in exchange for the release of the said animals.

Moreover, the ordinance also mandated the pet owners in the different barangays to register their pets with the CVAO for the same to be provided with microchips, tags or certificates containing the details of the pet for easier identification of the owner once the said animal will be caught by members of the city pound and barangay officials that are strictly enforcing the provisions of the measure.

By Dexter A. See