DOG owners, beware.

Dogs found by the city veterinary office roaming around the city streets would be impounded in a facility in Barangay Indahag and would be subjected to “euthanasia” through carbon monoxide poisoning if not claimed by owners.

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This, as the City Government is intensifying its “Pamatong Program” or impounding of stray dogs to prevent cases of rabies from rising up especially during summer.

Dr. Lucien Acac, City Health Veterinarian, said about 1,500 to 1,800 stray dogs not claimed by owners were “killed” last year.

From January to March this year, at least 300 dogs were already executed, he added.

“This may be inhuman but this will also serve as a protection and monitoring to prevent people from rabies,” Acac said, adding that this would serve as a lesson to owners who take their pets for granted.

The “Pamatong Program” according to him, is implemented based on a city ordinance.

“This city ordinance is to protect people from getting rabies,” Acac said.

Workers from the City Veterinary Office are regularly roaming around the city’s streets on Tuedays, Wednesday and Thursdays and capture stray dogs, with or without collars.

Acac said dog owners are required to pay a fine of P200 to claim their pets.

Meanwhile, City Councilor Dante Pajo, chair of the City Council committee on health and social services, is calling on concerned agencies and every barangays in the city to help implement Republic Act 9482 or an Act for the Control and Elimination of Human and Animal Rabies.

Pajo said pet owners should register their dogs and vaccinate them against rabies.

“Pet owners should take care of their dogs especially now that the weather is very hot,” Pajo said.

In 2009, he said around 300 to 600 persons died of rabies in the country.

Rabies is caused by a virus that, among other things, attacks the nervous system and is excreted in the saliva.

Pajo said before deciding to have a pet dog, one must think twice if he or she can really take care of the pet.

This, as he emphasized that the animal should be protected, well taken cared of, a let them drink enough water so they will not be dehydrated.

“If possible, pets should not or will never be allowed to stray outside the gates of the owners’ house,” he said.