Threatened by the local municipality to have the dogs euthanized if not adopted before summer, the Los Baños – Advocates of Animal Welfare, Inc. (LB-AAW) are looking to find ‘furever’ homes for the remaining 23 dogs in the pound.
According to LB-AAW, the Los Baños municipal government wants to euthanize the dogs for fear of diseases like rabies, which they are more prone to during summer months. The municipality is also said to be cutting expenses for the allotment of other projects and that they are making room for a new batch of dogs in the pound.
Reignier Guerrero, LB-AAW Public Relations Head, stated that although the municipality said that there is a big amount allotted for dog food in the 2018 budget proposal, the amount is not disclosed to their organization. Additionally, he said that before their organization volunteered to help the pound, the dogs were not being fed. The food given to the dogs in present-day come from LB-AAW and their donors.
The municipality have long been saying that the dogs that are not adopted will be euthanized. However, it was only last January 13 when they gave their definite word that the current dogs in the pound will be given until before summer to find a home.
Their campaign #Savethe58 started out with 58 dogs that were up for adoption. With LB-AAW’s continuous efforts to find them new homes, more than half have already been adopted.
LB dog pound violates law
After finding homes for the remaining 23 dogs, LB-AAW wants to have the dog pound closed due to violation of the guidelines set by the Bureau of Animal Industry.
“Bagsak sila sa maintenance of facilities. Walang food for the dogs. Walang vet na nagche-check sa dogs. Hindi rin sumusunod sa required facilities ng cages, dapat stainless steel.” Guerrero explained.
According to Guerrero, there had been a case where a dog had a tetanus infection because of rust and dirt in its cage.
The dog pound is located in the Material Recycling Facility, also known as a dumpsite, which Guerrero said provides for an unhealthy environment for dogs. He said that the municipality told them that there is no other land available to be converted into a dog pound and the current pound only serves as a temporary shelter.
Guerrero cited the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 which provides that animals in the shelter should have five basic freedoms: freedom from thirst, hunger, and malnutrition; freedom from physical discomfort and pain; freedom from injury and disease; freedom to conform to essential behavior patterns; and freedom from fear and distress.
An adoptionfee of Php 300 paid to the municipality should be used to improve the facilities of the pound but Guerrero observed that with the number of dogs adopted in the previous years, no improvements were seen in the pound.
Not all stray dogs are rabid
In an interview with ABS-CBN last January 18, OIC Municipal Agriculturist Cheryll Gonzales explained the risk of stray dogs with rabies. Although they want the dogs to be in a better place, she said, they also do not want to risk the chances of rabies spreading and citizens being bitten by the rabid animals.
“Ang rabies kasi, in a few weeks, magmamanifest na dapat ang symptoms sa aso. If the dogs have rabies, it should have died or exhibited the symptoms,” Guerero explained that thedogs in the pound do not have rabies.
Animals infected with rabies die 10 days after the development of its symptoms.
LB-AAW advocates to rescue and find new homes for stray cats and dogs which, according to them, are only victims of irresponsible pet ownership. From 2015, LB-AAW volunteers have helped in maintaining the dog pound—cleaning cages, feeding, bathing, and taking care of the dogs and cars. Since there is no municipal veterinarian, LB-AAW contacts local or private veterinarians for the animals that need immediate medical attention.
Since 2015, more than 50 cats and dogs have been adopted.
If interested to adopt, LB-AAW requires the submission of an application form, an interview, and a visit to the dog pound.[P]
For more information, see the guidelines and reminders in LB-AAW facebook group or contact Reignier Guerrero at 09978539393.