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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Woman arrested after pet dog bit neighbor’s child

CATBALOGAN CITY -- A woman was arrested by police for the crime she claimed she was not aware of.

Arrested was "Jane" (real name withheld), 30, married, housewife, for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9482, otherwise known as the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007.

Court records show that on May 30, 2015, a seven-year old child passing in front of Jane’s house was attacked and bitten by the latter’s pet dog that was tied outside her residence in Purok 1-A, Barangay Mercedes, this city.

The child was rushed to the Samar Provincial Hospital for immediate attention, as she suffered wounds in her face and neck.

Jane, who also went to the hospital, reportedly admitted it was her dog that had bitten the young victim.

The mother of the child said Jane promised to shoulder the medical expenses but she never showed up again despite repeated demands through calls, texts and barangay conciliation proceedings, prompting the mother to file charges in court.

An arrest warrant was issued by Judge Cicero Lampasa of Regional Trial Court Branch 27 last September 1, 2016, leading to Jane's arrest last January 6.

She did not resist arrest and was detained at the Catbalogan police investigative facility but was able to post bail in the amount of P12,500.

The Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 was signed into law in May 2007 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It seeks to control and eliminate human and animal rabies.

Under the law, the failure of the dog owner to submit the dog to proper government authorities for observation and to shoulder the medical expenses of the person bitten by their dog is probable cause for violation of RA 9482.

Rabies is a highly fatal disease caused by a lyssa virus that is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. It causes muscle paralysis, hydrophobia and aerophobia, and other neurological disorders.

The law requires pet owners to regularly vaccinate their dog against rabies and maintain a vaccination registration card, submit their dog for mandatory registration, maintain control of their dog and not allow it to roam any public place without a leash, provide their dog with proper grooming, adequate food and clean shelter, report within 24 hours any dog biting incident for investigation or appropriate action, assist the dog bite victim immediately, and shoulder the medical expenses of the victims.

Under RA 9482, unregistered, stray and unvaccinated dogs shall be put in dog pounds. If they are not claimed for three days, they will be put up for adoption or disposed of. The owner shall pay P500 to P1,000 before he gets his dog back.

It also gives dog owners discounts in pet registration fee if the animal is neutered as part of the dog population control program.

RA 9482 imposes the following penalties:

* P2,000 for pet owners who fail or refuse to have their dog registered and immunized against rabies; if the dog bites someone, the owner will pay for the vaccination of the dog and the person bitten.

* P10,000 for those who refuse to have their dog placed under observation after it has bitten a person.

* P25,000 for pet owners who refuse to have their dog observed and do not shoulder the medical expenses of the bitten person.

* P500 for dog owners who refuse to put their dogs on a leash.

* P5,000 per dog for those found guilty of trading dog for meat; the person would also be imprisoned for one to four years.

* P5,000 per act and imprisonment of 1-4 years for those who use electrocution as a method of euthanasia. (Sunnex)
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