By Paulo DS. Papa
NAGA CITY--- Of the 10,804 registered dogs in the city, 8,939 of them have already been vaccinated, making them rabies-free, according to Naga City Veterinarian Junios J. Elad Jr.
Dr. Elad said this means that they still have to run after the remaining 1,865 heads of dogs that need to be vaccinated to prevent rabies from spreading.
A stray dog from Bgy. Subao, in Calabanga, Camarines Sur, according to Elad, had been tracked to have found its way in Bgy. Carolina in this city and sent for a laboratory test in Albay, after it was netted by the personnel of the Naga veterinary office.
Many stray dogs have been impounded for the past months as personnel of the City Veterinary go house-to-house, with the support of the respective barangay officials.
Those that remained unclaimed after five days that these animals are impounded are subsequently submitted for euthanasia, or killing them through intravenous injection. Others, upon request, are saved for adoption by veterinary students at the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) in nearby Pili, Camarines Sur for their laboratory study.
The mercy killing, Elad explained, is resorted to for unredeemed impounded stray dogs because no local government has enough funds for the food and maintenance needs of these dogs.
“Kung hindi mo sila papatayin, aabutin nang milyones ang pagpapakain sa aso.” (If you don’t kill them, the expense for dog food will rise to millions of pesos), the vet med said.
He said it is their continuing responsibility to run after abandoned dogs and vaccinate those kept as house pets in order to stop rabies, if any, from further spreading, especially among stray dogs.
He said other local government units of nearby towns should also do their part because stray dogs are so mobile they can carry the disease easily while moving to other towns.
The city veterinary office has been hailed for its effective and successful campaign against rabies for the past years now.