Fetalvero: Doggone situation

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By Noemi C. Fetalvero

Two empty bottles

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WE REFER to it as “man’s best friend.”

We keep dogs for several reasons. There is the seeing-eye dog for the blind. The sniffing dogs at the airport undergo training with the Philippine National Police to detect contraband items. We own dogs at home either for protection or as domestic pets. Some rehabilitation centers keep dogs as they help in the recovery process of some trauma patients.

Here in our country there are more stray dogs wandering in our city streets than those that are kept in a pen or held by a leash by their masters. This is the downside of having too many dogs running loose in the neighborhood. It is an identified problem but a solution is remote because the government does not seem to care. Or does it choose to be nonchalant about the entire situation for fear of being attacked by those that protect animals against abuse and cruelty?

How many tons of poo and gallons of urine a day are discharged in our city streets and open spaces, including those in subdivisions that are not gated? I wonder if we even have a count of dog bites. According to a report contained in a book How To Be Green, humans can carry roundworms ingested from dog and cat excrement. One upside—or maybe it should be downside—in taking care of pets in our country is that we feed our dogs and cats leftover food. However, in other countries people feed them canned dog and cat food. “One favorite ingredient, tuna, involves the indiscriminate killing of thousands of dolphins along with the tuna,” the report added.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Great Britain suggested that there should be a national dog register, and all dogs should carry details of their owners, who would be legally responsible for the dog’s conduct.

I am not aware of such being implemented in our country. The society also suggested that people should be able to have dogs and cats neutered easily and free of charge to prevent unwanted canine and feline population growth.

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” we learned that early in life in our schooldays.

It is an ungodly sight to see flattened doggie droppings in our city streets, especially when dog owners walk their dogs to allow them to relieve in open spaces.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 12, 2013.


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