MINALIN -- A women group from the University of the Philippines (UP) sponsored on Monday, April 10, an immunization and anti-rabies campaign in this town.

Led by one of its members, former fourth district Representative Anna York Bondoc, the UP College of Medicine’s Mu Sigma Phi Sorority facilitated the vaccination of some 200 dogs held at the Santa Rita Covered Court here.

Bondoc said Pampanga has one of the highest cases of dog bites recorded in the country with a rate of at least 2,000 per year.

“Rabies remains a health problem in the country and with such activity, we wanted to spread awareness on responsible pet ownership,” she said.

She added that the anti-rabies campaign also aims to educate public on the proper measures to do when bitten by a dog, especially if it is known to have rabies.

She said there are five animal bite centers in the province, including the Diosdado Macapagal Memorial Hospital in Guagua town and Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in the City of San Fernando that offer free rabies vaccination.

“Kapag nakagat ng aso, mag-proceed na sa nearest bite center para makapagpa-vaccine. And also identify yung aso na kumagat para mamonitor ito,” she said.

The Pampanga Provincial Veterinarian's Office, which assisted the sorority, also reminded the public to avoid mingling with stray dogs, which are often the carriers of rabies.

The office also urged the legislative bodies of every local government unit to create an ordinance that will allow authorities to catch stray or abandoned animals to avoid causing trouble.