14 dog eaters in North Cot cleared of rabies

Dr. Enrico Garzon, provincial veterinarian, said constant monitoring on the health conditions of the dog eaters were conducted by their personnel as well as doctors from the rural health unit of Mlang.

Mlang Mayor Joselito Piñol immediately sought the assistance of the Cotabato Provincial Hospital, especially in providing anti-rabies vaccines for these persons.

Garzon said residents of Bagontapay butchered the mad dog and ate the meat after it attacked several constituents in the said place.

The rabid dog bit six-year-old Joseph Jabe Labanza and Elvis Tolentino on separate occasions. They both died because of rabies while being treated at the Mlang Doctors Hospital and at the Cotabato Provincial Hospital, respectively.

Five other individuals from Bagontapay were bitten by the same mad dog but are already safe from rabies.

Garzon immediately ordered his personnel to conduct “Operation Askal” in the area to pick up stray dogs (“asong kalye” or “askal” for short) to avoid similar incidents to happen. He appealed to dog owners to be responsible pet owners by not letting their dogs roam everywhere.

The provincial veterinarian encouraged his constituents to bring their dogs in for anti-rabies vaccination. “Let our dogs have anti-rabies vaccines. Feel free to go to our office and we are more than willing to serve you,” Garzon stressed.

“We strengthened our ‘Operation Askal’ to catch stray dogs roaming along the highway and even in the villages,” he said. (Williamor A. Magbanua / MindaNews)