Edict on mandatory registration of dogs in Baguio approved

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BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on third and final reading a proposed ordinance amending certain provisions of Ordinance No. 500-34 providing for a mandatory registration of dogs and public animal pounds in the city.

The ordinance states no person shall own or keep any dog over 3 months of age without first having been registered with the City Veterinary Office or during mass registration organized by barangays where the registration certificate shall be issued after the dog has been microchipped.

The Council said the issued registration certificate shall be permanent or until the lifetime of the dog, except in cases of transfer of ownership.

Under the ordinance, the owner or keeper of any dog required by the measure to be registered shall no longer be required to provide a dog tag.

Further, all dogs must be surrendered for microchipping as the means for registration in the city, serving as their permanent identification that cannot be transferred to other dogs unless there is transfer of ownership, which requires updating the records through the City Veterinary office.

According to the council, it will be prohibited for the owner or keeper of any dog to allow the same to go lose in any place outside the premises of the owner. Any dog found outside the premises of the owner shall be considered as stray dog and shall be seized by any authorized personnel.

Moreover, all impounded dogs shall be delivered to the animal pound for safekeeping. Any dog found in public streets, highways, school parks, public grounds, churches, hospitals and plazas or in or upon the premises of another other than its owner or keeper shall be seized by authorized personnel unless the dog is laced and being held by the owner.

The council added dogs impounded by barangay officials and barangay tanods may be kept in the barangay pound, if available. Barangays concerned are authorized to collect impounding fine and maintenance fees. Dogs impounded by police officers, garbage collectors and subdivision officials shall be turned over to the city pound.

The council stipulated that a dog may be declared nuisance by the barangay council when it has bitten a person outside the premises of the owner or causes threat or fear to passersby; on not less than 3 occasions disturbs the peace and order of the neighborhood and on not less than 3 occasions defecated outside owner’s premises and the owner did not do anything to clean the same.

The city legislative body asserted the owner or keeper of a dog that has bitten a person outside the owner’s premises is obliged to pay all medical expenses incurred by the victim.

Pet owners who fail to have their dogs registered shall be punished by a fine of P2,000.

Any person who knowingly and willfully allow the dog to go lose in any place outside his or her premises shall be fined P2,000 and any person who releases impounded dogs without having been registered, microchipped and the accrued fines and fees were not fully paid shall be fined P1,000 without prejudice to the filing of any administrative or criminal case against the offender.

By Dexter A. See
Phoo by Armando M. Bolislis