DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Office of the City Veterinarian on Tuesday provided free services for pet owners in observance of the Rabies Awareness Month.
Hundreds of dogs and cats availed free services, including consultation from volunteer veterinarians, medicines against ticks and fleas, castration and film-showing on rabies.
City veterinarian Dr. Cerelyn Pinili told Davao Today in an interview that the rabies awareness among Davaoeños was high.
Last year, Pinili said they were able to provide anti-rabies vaccination to more than 70 percent of the total dogs and cats population in the city.
“We need to immunize 70 to 80 percent of the total population. For Davao City we have an estimate of 150,000 dogs and cats based on the population of human with a ratio of 1 is to 10,” Pinili said.
“We reached 73 percent of that with an estimate of 110,000 pets,” she said.
Pinili said it is important for the pets to get vaccination to protect them from rabies.
“Just in case, the dog gets beaten by another dog with rabies it is protected and the humans around him are also protected,” she said.
If not treated, rabies is fatal to pets, Pinili said. She said the dogs should be vaccinated once a year starting from two to three months old.
She also said pet owners should be responsible in providing care for their pets including allotting time for their exercise and preparing clean food and water.
For this month, the Office of the City Veterinarian will provide free anti-rabies vaccinations to barangays every Friday.
Pinili said the local government unit and the Bureau of Animal Industry provided support for their agency. Private veterinarians from the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association-Southern Philippines and the Davao Veterinary Private Practitioners Association also volunteers during their activities.
Executive No. 84, signed in 1999, declares March as the Rabies Awareness Month to prevent and eradicate rabies that is seen as a dangerous disease of dog transmissible to humans through the bite of an infected animal.(davaotoday.com)