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The City Veterinary Office (CVO) on Thursday gave the dog lovers of Puerto Princesa an assurance that there is no dog presently under custody of city pound in Barangay Tagburos during this period of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
This is after Palawan Daily News (PDN) inquired on who is in charge of ensuring that dogs are still being fed well inside this facility during the ECQ.
Dr. Indira Santiago, chief of the CVO in an interview Thursday, March 19, said while there is no dog under the facility’s custody at the moment, there will always be staff on duty should someone surrender a dog at the city pound.
“Ina-assure ko po ‘yong publiko at saka ‘yong mga dog lovers na sa ngayon ay wala tayong dog impounding, wala rin tayong mga aso na nakalagay po sa dog pound. Although hindi natin iniiwanan na walang tao ‘yong dog pound kasi anytime baka magkaroon ng isu-surrender kaya lagi talaga siyang may tao. Hanggang Sabado [at] Linggo nilalagyan ko talaga ‘yan ng tao,” said Santiago.
Santiago stated they will ensure that dogs will be fed well inside the facility even during this ECQ period should there be any that will soon be brought under its care.
Santiago said their office has its skeletal force this ECQ to cater concerns and render necessary services.
Santiago also reminded the public to be responsible dog owners, most especially these times when the people are fighting the threat of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) through an enhanced community quarantine.
“Ang pakiusap ko lang sa atin dahil naka-quarantine tayo ngayon, pati ‘yong atin sanang mga aso ay sinupin natin sa kalsada kasi hindi natin alam kung ito ba ay carrier [o] puwedeng mahawaan [o] puwedeng mag-mutate ang virus from human to animals [the] to humans uli. Although may mga inaaral nang mga studies, may mga incidents na, sa case ng Hong Kong meron nang nahawaan ‘yong kaniyang pet… Sa akin lang, as part of the precautionary measure natin sa gobyerno ay hindi lang sana tayo mag-self quarantine, but an gating mga hayop ay sinupin din natin,” said Santiago.
Santiago said it was around second quarter last year when they stopped impounding dogs and adopted an online system where the public may send photos of stray dogs and complaints against irresponsible owners.
She said this is a Facebook page CVO maintains alongside their dog monitoring and evaluation team.
Santiago said their team takes photos of stray dogs within the city as well, during their monitoring period.
“Iyan ini-interview kung sino ang may-ari, pipicture-an, tapos ipapatawag ‘yong may-ari dito sa vet office, tapos tatanungin kung babayaran niyo ba ‘yong aso niyo dahil may violation kayo at kung hindi, bago pa lang natin kukunin ng impounding [ang aso] tapos i-subject for adoption,” said Santiago. She reiterated an irresponsible dog owner who violated the rules imposed by law shall be imposed with a monetary penalty at the barangay level.
Santiago said they will file a case against an irresponsible owner if he will not to settle his penalty.
“Fina-file-an natin ng kaso. Ang dami nang naka-tambak na actually sa legal office na mga complaints natin. Pinipirmahan ‘yon namin, ina-attach ‘yong document, ‘yong picture ng aso, tapos ‘yong pangalan ng may-ari, tapos pipirmahan din ng kumuha ng picture kami nga ‘yon, tapos fina-file namin. [Pero] pinapatawag muna namin sila dito, kung ise-settle nila [ay] hindi namin ifo-forward doon sa prosecutor’s office,” she said.