Cebu City residents urged: Avail of free anti-rabies shots for your pets
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City residents are encouraged to avail of the free rabies vaccination offered by the Cebu City Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fishery (DVMF).
Dr. Alice Utlang, DVMF and the City Pound head, told Cebu Daily News Digital in a phone interview on Sunday, February 17, that since January, they had been conducting free vaccination for cats and dogs in high-risk barangays as part of their program for a rabies-free Cebu City.
Nine barangays have been identified as high-risk for rabid dogs. These barangays are Barangays Guadalupe, Kalunasan Lahug, Punta Princesa, Bulacao, Inayawan, Mabolo, San Nicolas, and Pahina San Nicolas.
Utlang said that the among the nine barangays, Guadalupe had posed the highest risk since along with it having the largest human population in the city, it also had the largest population of cats and dogs.
She said that the problem of unvaccinated dogs could pose a danger to humans or residents in the area because rabid dogs could infect humans through biting.
Utlang said that through the vaccination program, which is a partnership with the Department of Agriculture and the Humane Society International, DVMF was hoping that Cebu City would be rabies-free by 2020.
“Ato gyod gipaninguhaan nga zero-rabies ta. Kay kung rabies-free ang Cebu City, di na ta maworry if naay mapaakan kay kahibaw ta nga vaccinated na sila,” said Utlang.
With over 167,000 dogs in the city, Utlang said that it was still a long way to go from the status quo to rabies-free Cebu City, and so she was hoping the barangay would cooperate with the projects.
Teams from DVMF will be going to the barangays and will make house to house rounds to vaccinate the pets in the area.
They will be in Lahug on February 18 to 21; Punta Princesa on February 22, 26 to 28; Bulacao on March 1 and 4; Inayawan on March 5 to 6; Mabolo on March 7 to 8 and 11; Basak San Nicolas on March 12 to 15; and Pahina San Nicolas on March 18.
Meanwhile, Utlang said that people should look out for rabid dogs to avoid them.
Dogs with rabies often display changes of behavior and fear of water.
These dogs also die shortly after biting a prey or a human.
Humans, who are bitten by any dog, should be treated immediately with rabies shots./dbs
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