STRAY dogs and cats need to be protected under Philippine law too.

On this note, a group of pro-animal advocates in Cebu led by lawyer Benjamin Cabrido Jr. announced on Friday, March 31, 2023, their intent to file a petition at the Regional Trial Court in the City of Naga next week.

Cabrido, an environmentalist, said they plan to push for a “special” quasi wildlife act for stray dogs and cats.

He said the proposed quasi-wildlife act would seek to protect the welfare of stray dogs and cats, considering that they do not have people looking after them.

Cabrido, with Island Rescue Organization (IRO) and Happy Tails, came up with the idea due to the recent stray dog poisoning in the City of Naga.

He also pointed out the abusive acts of some people towards stray dogs and cats.

Cabrido hoped the petition would be forwarded to the Supreme Court and for stray dogs and cats to be declared as special class of quasi wildlife so that they would have protection under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act.

Under the law, killing and destroying wildlife species entail sanctions of at least six to 12 years’ imprisonment and a fine of P100,000 to P1 million. Maltreatment and abuse of wildlife animals result in six months to one-year imprisonment and a fine of P50,000 to P100,000.

In January 2023, around 50 stray and domesticated dogs and cats in a subdivision in the City of Naga were reported to have been poisoned.

The stray animals reportedly had eaten food soaked in Racumin, a brand of poison used to kill rats and mice, dropped around the subdivision roads.

Though the poisoning initially targeted stray dogs, pets being walked around in the subdivision by their owners picked up the laced food and got poisoned as well. This alarmed the pet owners.

Who was behind the poisoning has remained unknown.