EVERY day, we encounter a stray cat or dog dodging cars, looking for food in trash, battling malnutrition and sickness, and fighting for their lives. These strays do not have voice to speak and sadly, they are still neglected as a member of the society.
Stray animals do not occur randomly; it is a symptom of human negligence and ignorance on how to take good care of pets. In fact, irresponsible ownership is one of the main reasons for stray’s occurrence.
The typical strays in the country are domesticated animals that once were a family pet but thrown out to the streets when owners can no longer provide for their needs such as food and medication. In line with this, we also have a result of pets that are allowed to roam around the streets and simply go home as they please.
These pets mate, get pregnant, and give birth to more stray animals with no one to take care of it. People’s ignorance on spay-neuter or kapon are likely the cause.
The Philippine Government should revise and strongly implement the Republic Act 8485 or The Animal Welfare Act, which states that it shall be unlawful for any person; to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance, shelter or maltreat any animals, and to procure animals to be tortured.
Higher punishment of any person who violate of this act should be done. Six months to two years imprisonment with a thousand to five fines are not enough to encourage to stop people from neglecting their pets.
Furthermore, the government should fund an outreach spay-neuter program not just an anti-rabies vaccination, because every effort taken to spay a pet or strays translate to preventing the birth of more stray animals. (Renalou Dimpas, University of Mindanao)