A pet owner haves her pet checked-up by a staff of the City Veterinary Office in Davao City.

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 avail​ed​ free services​,​ including consultation from volunteer veterinarians, ​medicines against ticks and fleas, castration and film-showing on rabies.

Volunteer veterinarians perform free spay operation on a cat at the People’s Park in Davao City.

Pets also got free vaccination to protect them from diseases.

Aya Delgado brings her 3-year-old dachshund Lucky on a dog carrier for anti-rabies vaccination and deworming.

City veterinarian Dr. Cerelyn Pinili told Davao Today in an interview that the rabies awareness among Davaoeños ​wa​s 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.

As a responsible pet owner, Aileen Jill Uy says she allots time for her pet’s medical check-up and vaccination not only to save money but also to protect the community.

Crisanta Galang, 77, with her 1-year-old pet dog, Pogs.

Pet owners Gracesel Aclon, (left) who owns three shih tzu dogs and Nanette Dela Peña (right) who owns a dachshund terrier brought their dogs at the People’s Park to get free check-up.

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.

The Office of the City Veterinarian also distributed free medicines to protect pets from ticks and fleas.

After their operation, the pets are transferred to the recovery area where the owners wait for the effect of the anesthesia to wear off.

A veterinarian places a newly-spayed cat in the recovery area at the park.

Dogs owned by Jean Abarico and Lyndon Limosnero take their photos at the park’s landmark as they wait for their turn for check-up on Tuesday.

As they are treated like members of the family, Marilyn Pacheco (right) even attach her surname to her two cats Nyor and Bobsy.

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)

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