4,011 animal bites in 6 years

Citing records from the Health Office, which registered 4, 011 animal bites reported from 2010-2015, Dumaguete City Councilor Jose Victor Imbo is pushing for the imposition of penalties for irresponsible and negligent pet owners.

His proposal was highlighted following revelations that the City Veterinary, which is understaffed, only devotes two days (Tuesday and Thursday) in a week to conduct night time apprehension of stray dogs that often cause traffic accidents resulting in loss of lives and injuries to humans.

The proposed ordinance imposes administrative fine of up to P1,500 and imprisonment of up to 30 days for convicted negligent pet owners.

While the number animal bites has steadily increased, despite the best efforts of Socorro and her team to conduct castration and spay through home visits to manage the dog population, yet the vaccination drive has yielded positively with zero report of rabies infection this year.

Nevertheless, Councilor Joe Kenneth Arbas reiterated the need for City Veterinarian Lourdes S. Socorro to come up with a sustained and elaborate system on how to eliminate stray dogs from the streets.

Imbo’s co-author Councilor Michael M. Bandal also sees the need to provide ample facilities at the City Pound to shelter stray dogs or animals particularly the sick and the dying that pose health risk to the community and not to simply put them to eternal sleep.

Of the 4,011 animal bites recorded a majority were caused by dogs (3,366); cats (618) and 27 by monkeys, bats and pigs.

Socorro appealed for the hiring of at least three more personnel to replace those retired to increase the number of his staff to 10. (By Dems Demecillo)

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