Info drive needed to curb cases of rabies in Davao region

May. 04, 2017

Pet owners took their cats and dogs for a free anti-rabies vaccination at the People’s Park on March 7, 2017. The free vaccination was initiated by the Office of the City Veterinarian for the Rabies Awareness Month. ( file photo)

DAVAO CITY – A group said massive information drive is needed to lessen the cases of animal bites and rabies  in the city and the rest of the region.

Dr. Criselda Lao of the University of the Philippines Veterinary Society Alumni said interventions must be instituted to convince owners to have their pets vaccinated.

She said Davao City is 5th among the areas with a high number of cases of animal bites in the whole country last year.

In Davao region, there is an increase of 32 percent of animal bites cases from 2015 to 2016, according to a data from the Animal Bite Center.

A total of 48,123 animal bite accidents were recorded in the area in 2016 compared to the 36,353 cases in 2015.

The City Health Office also recorded 1,906 animal bites in 2016, a number higher compared to 1,553 cases documented in 2015.

Lao said interventions must reach down to the barangay level in order to minimize the cases of animal bites and cases of rabies.

She also told reporters here that her group conducts a medical and vaccination activities in partnership with the Department of Agriculture in the region.

“We have been into vaccination of street dogs down to barangay levels. We are doing this with the DA in the region yearly and free of charge,” Lao pointed out.

She said refusal of owners to have their pets vaccinated contributes to the increase of rabies cases in the region. She also noted of the need to intensify information drives for owners to understand the importance of having their pets vaccinated.

Aside from the medical missions, Lao also called on pet owners to regularly visit pet clinics in the city.

She added that Davao City now has 49 pet clinics.

Lao also announced the upcoming Dog Fashion Show slated from May 26 to 27 this year.

She said the theme of the show is “Rock and Roll” where pet dogs will be required to wear “rocker” costumes.

“The event will not only focus on pets with their costumes but will also provide free medical services,” she stressed.

Owners can have their pet dogs undergo free check-ups, vaccination, castration and deworming activities, Lao said. (

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