Naga rolls off dog vaccination drive

NAGA CITY --- While the city government here is busy in its campaign against the spread of Covid-19, the city veterinary officer, Dr. Junius Elad, has continued to push the house-to-house dog vaccination program to ensure that cases of rabies will not add up to the current problem of the city vis-à-vis the pandemic.

Elad said that the City Veterinary Office (CVO) has been conducting various activities under the city’s Rabies Control and Eradication Program.

“On top of other anti-rabies campaign is our house-to-house dog vaccination. From January up to June this year, we have already vaccinated 4,925 dogs in Naga City. We are really trying our best since we believe that the higher the percentage of vaccinated dogs, the higher the protection is for the community,” Elad said. The CVO is also keeping streets in the city of stray goods, which are possible rabies carriers.

Other CVO programs include dog registration, dog impoundment and free castration of dogs and cats, among others.

“I think we have three cases of rabies last year – in Panicuason, Carolina and Sta. Cruz. If I recall it right we have one fatality from rabies in the upland area according to Dr. Butch Borja. This year we have 2 canine rabies cases at Villa Karangahan and Bagumbayan Norte. The bites did not result to death since the dogs were vaccinated. So let me remind our community that rabies is 100% preventable but 100% non treatable,” Elad said.

On the proliferation of stray dogs on the street, Elad explained that their dog-catching activity was temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As precaution, the CVO team avoids Covid-19 hotspots and lockdown areas. Its personnel, while conducting their house-to-house vaccination drive are also observing the health protocols, like wearing of gloves, face mask and other safety precautions.

Elad also emphasized that they are using the catching net to catch dogs so as not to violate the Animal Welfare Act.

He urged all animal/pet owners to be responsible. They should ensure that their pets are vaccinated, groomed and properly kept away from the roads, he said. (With report from BRivera-PIAV/Camarines Sur)