The provincial veterinary office has also strengthened its campaign against stray dogs all over the province.
Garzon said that since the program started in February, a total of 900 stray dogs have been rounded up in major streets of the second district of the province.
North Cotabato’s second district includes the towns of Mlang, Matalam, Tulunan, Makilala, Antipas, Arakan, President Roxas, Magpet and Kidapawan City.
Of the 900 stray dogs impounded by the provincial veterinarian’s office, about half were redeemed by their owners. The remaining dogs were gassed to death, Garzon said.
“This is not cruelty to animals. We did it to avoid or even lessen the cases of rabies due to dog bites in our province,” he explained.
Stray dogs bit 500 people all over North Cotabato last year, according to records of the Integrated Provincial Health Office. Nine of them died due to rabies.
But despite the campaign, stray dogs are still aplenty. Residents of Apo Sandawa Homes, Taran, Villanueva, Bolong and Saniel subdivisions complained that stray dogs are still roaming in their streets.
The residents, in their text messages sent to Textline 2960 of DXND Radio for Peace, claimed that the provincial and city veterinary offices are no longer doing their job in running after stray dogs.
But Garzon explained that their operation was stopped in the previous months because of their defective service vehicle used in their operations. But he promised that once the new vehicle arrives, they will immediately resume operations in Kidapawan and neighboring towns.