LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Bontoc town wanted to keep its people and dogs safe from rabies.

The Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMAG) has been making rounds, offering free anti-rabies shots to dogs in key barangays.

Benjamin Lopez, Municipal Veterinarian said nine of the 16 barangays of the capital town has administered the free vaccines; Poblacion, Caluttit, Samoki, Bontoc Ili, Alab Oriente, Alab Proper, Gonogon, Tocucan, and Mainit.

A total of 992 dogs have been vaccinated.

“This has been a yearly project of our local government, in line with the program of the National Government to aim for a rabies-free Philippines by 2016,” Lopez said.

Records of the Animal Bite Treatment Center of the Department of Health show the last case of rabies in Bontoc was in February 2009 when a 28-year-old male from Loc-ong, Poblacion died after being bitten by a rabid dog.

“Rabies is a fatal but preventable disease. As we always say, prevention is better than cure, that’s why we have this program. So far, it has proven to be effective as our municipality has no case of rabies in the past five years,” Lopez added.

Lopez is urging all dog-owners to be responsible in taking care of their pets, adding free vaccination is always available at the OMAG.

Lopez said the remaining barangays will also be visited, when additional vaccines are purchased.

“Last March, we had to make do with the available anti-rabies vaccines. This time, we are aiming for all 16 barangays,” he closed.