Mandaue mulls penalizing irresponsible pet owners
The Mandaue City Veterinary Office is looking at penalizing residents who do not submit their pets to a regular vaccination.
Dr. Karen Merilles, officer in charge of the City Veterinary Office, said they have been giving free vaccinations to dogs and cats, but rabies could still not be totally eliminated because some pet owners don’t heed their advice to have their pets vaccinated.
“Daghan kaayo ta og gibuhat aron ma-control or mawala ang rabies pero ang ubang mga tag-iya og iro wala magpakabana (We have been doing a lot of things to control or even eliminate rabies, but our efforts fell on deaf ears),” said Merilles.
She explained that there is a law imposing penalties against irresponsible pet owners, but nobody has been penalized yet since most animal bite cases will just be settled between the pet owners and the bite victims.
Two persons have already died from dog bites in the city involving a woman in Barangay Canduman and a boy in Barangay Paknaan.
The law imposes a P2,000 fine for those pet owners who fail or refuse to register their pets; P500 fine for those who let their dogs go out into the street without a leash; P10,000 fine for those who do not cooperate in the observation period of a dog after it had bitten anybody; P25,000 fine if a pet owner refuses to shoulder the medical expenses of the victim; P5,000 fine and an imprisonment of 1–4 years if anybody is proven to have done animal cruelty; P2,000 fine if pet owners fail to inform proper authorities that his/her pet has bitten anyone; and P500 to P1,000 charge for redeeming impounded dogs.
If a pet owner is a foreigner, he or she can be deported right after serving the imprisonment or paying the penalty.
The veterinary office catches around 50 stray dogs per week and impounds them. If nobody claims the animals within three days, the dogs will be subjected to euthanasia.
In 2016, the city’s Animal Bite Center recorded a total of 5,083 patients. But the first quarter of this year is far higher with a total number of 1,933 animal bites compared to last year’s 1,202.
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