GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 27 November) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is planning to establish additional dog impounding facilities to address concerns on the proliferation of abandoned and stray dogs in local communities.
Dr. Flora Bigot, head of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVET), said they are currently drawing up plans for the replication and expansion of its pilot dog pound in Surallah town to other localities in the area.
The province’s first-ever dog impounding center opened last week in Barangay Centrala, Surallah, and was designed to cater to the municipality and the neighboring Tboli, Lake Sebu, Banga, Norala and Sto. Niño in the upper valley area.
“We will be putting up another facility for the lower valley area,” Bigot said in a press briefing.
She was referring to the province’s lower valley area, which comprises Koronadal City and the municipalities of Tantangan, Tampakan, Tupi and Polomolok.
The Surallah dog pound, which was constructed through a P1.8-million funding from the provincial government, has a capacity of 50 to 60 animals.
Bigot said its operations will be managed by the municipal government, through the agriculture office, and in coordination with the PVET.
Based on the operational guidelines, she said all abandoned, unvaccinated and stray dogs that will be captured in the area will be accommodated at the facility for at least three days.
Owners of the captured animals will be allowed to redeem them upon payment of P300 as penalty for the first day of stay at the center and additional P100 for the next two days, she said.
Before their release, she said the dogs will undergo rabies vaccination and with the males subjected to castration.
“If no owner will come forward and redeem the animals, the center may opt to offer them for adoption. It there are still no takers, the option is mercy killing or euthanasia since the facility cannot also hold them forever due to the high maintenance cost,” Bigot said.
The provincial government had pushed for the construction of dog pounds in its 10 towns and lone city to control the proliferation of stray dogs and the spread of the deadly rabies virus.
Bigot said most of the dog bites recorded in the province involved stray dogs and caused 99 percent of the human rabies cases in the area.
Since January, the province already recorded three confirmed rabies cases and deaths, with two coming from Tupi town and one from Tboli. (MindaNews)