Campaign for a 100% No Kill Cat and Dog Pounds in the Philippines
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September 19, 2017, a TV show entitled Raffy Tulfo in Action aired an episode regarding a woman complaining she was bitten by her neighbor's 6 dogs. The said episode received negative reactions mostly from animal advocates and pet owners as well as confusion with regards to animal impounding for the rest of the viewers who were able to watch the show. You can watch the video here:
As we can see from the said episode, the woman's intention in complaining was for the dog owner to pay her all the medical injections she paid for the said dog bites. It was later found out through the main host, Raffy Tulfo's investigation that the complainant was able to get her medical injections for free but still demands the dog owner to pay her in spite of dog owner's plea to give her some time to look for ways so she can pay. It was also established during the questioning that only one dog has bitten the complainant. Mr. Raffy Tulfo's solution to solve the problem is to confiscate all 6 dogs and lock them all to the nearest government animal shelter which happened to be the Payatas Dog Pound, one of the Philippines most high kill shelter.
We are not against confiscating of all 6 dogs because we understood that the main cause of this tackled issue is irresponsible dog ownership. This is very much portrayed on the incapability of the dog owner to take care of her dogs by not giving them proper food and shelter. What we are so against here is Mr. Tulfo's solution of bringing all 6 dogs (puppies included) to a high kill dog pound instead of bringing them to animal welfare shelters. Aside from PAWS and AKF, we want Mr. Tulfo to be aware that the bigger bulk of the population of animal advocates goes to us private rescuers and animal welfare shelters who are willing to adopt/foster these 6 dogs and have them rehabilitated until they find them new owners.
What saddens us the most is that a group of private rescuers took action to adopt all 6 dogs from the Payatas pound. Only to find out that these dogs were euthanized just 3 days after they were confiscated. The city pound did not even bother to follow the normal 14 days observation period. They were long dead even before the said episode was aired. Mr. Tulfo, may you be aware that several private shelters and rescuers are continuously rushing, pleading and buying time so that these dogs due for euthanasia can be saved. We private rescuers are also giving our own money, and raising funds as well as allotting time and effort in feeding these homeless strays, rescuing dogs and cats in distress and sending them for veterinary help because of the never-ending neglect of pet owners.
This everyday situation of rescuers, triggered us animal advocates all over the country to seek help and demand President Rodrigo Duterte, Bureau of Animal Industries and the different City Veterinary Offices to make a major revamp on how Dog Pounds are being managed.
Here are our proposed solutions:
1. We strongly proposed a TNR program (Trap, Neuter/Spay then Release) and to ensure the giving of anti-rabies shots instead of capturing these stray animals and getting them euthanized. To tap Animal Welfare NGO's as well as private animal shelters and rescuers be their number one partner in helping these rescued pets be adopted. We have to change the Capturing to Rescuing just like all NGO's and Private Rescue are doing and to prioritize rescuing the strays with serious medical conditions. We demand a more empowered campaign against a Rabies Free Philippines by putting a bigger part of the City Veterinary’s Office budget to more schedules of free Spay and Neuter rather than buying expensive pentobarbital medicines used for euthanasia
2. We also demand the Bureau of Animal Industries to do their part in educating Filipino citizens of their role as pet owners, promoting more of the 5 freedoms of animal welfare and the consequences of neglecting their pets by organizing several Brgy. seminars about responsible pet ownership. We must understand that a pet owner's irresponsibility will not be solved by penalizing the pet by confiscation. It is us, pet owners that needs to be educated.
3. Rescued pets can be claimed by their owners through monetized penalty or the option to do community service for 1-3 days. Unclaimed pets and rescued homeless strays will be posted using the Facebook page/website of the specific dog pound where the dog is located and will always be up for adoption. Unadopted pets can be turned over to different NGO/private animal welfare shelter.
4. To make the barangay officials, as well as the Philippine National Police, be an active partner in penalizing animal neglect and abuse. For them to be educated or undergo seminars regarding Animal Welfare. We seem to notice that most police and Brgy. officials are laying off their hands to this cases and usually advice complainants/animal abuse witnesses to call AKF or PAWS.
5. To make the Cebu City Pound as a role model for all Dog pounds when it comes to rehabilitating these rescued and surrendered pets and put up active Social Media pages for the public to be aware that they have dogs and cats for adoption. Just recently, the municipality of Marilao, Bulacan stepped up and declared a no-kill pound in their location. If Cebu and Marilao can make these resolutions feasible then we believe it's also time for all related government animal shelters to follow.
We believe that eradicating rabies goes hand in hand with animal control rather than the old solution of continuously capturing pets and euthanizing them. We can capture all the strays in the country but the problem of rabies and animal overpopulation will remain to be unsolved. Humans will never learn if we kept on just killing these animals. Pet neglect will continue and walking in the street safe from rabies will never be attained. We believe by spaying and neutering all pets as well as active campaign for responsible pet ownership will result to zero cases of rabies incidents that we all aim to happen.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. -Gandhi
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