Animal programs

Cebu City veterinarian plans to set up ‘animal welfare offices’ in police stations

THE Division of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) is considering establishing “animal welfare offices” in every police station in Cebu City.

Dr. Jessica Maribojoc, the Acting City Veterinarian, said Friday, July 8, 2022 that this initiative will improve the government’s response to animal abandonment and abuse.

Maribojoc said the creation of an animal welfare committee within the city council will also allow for more programs focusing on animal welfare and protection in the city.

According to Maribojoc, most animal abuse issues usually result in out-of-court settlements due to the long and turbulent process, especially if handled through the barangay court system.

With animal protection offices in every police station, complaints will be immediately dealt with by local police who are trained to handle such cases, Maribojoc said.

Free veterinary services on July 17

The DVMF will also be offering free veterinary services such as rabies vaccination, vitamin supplementation and deworming on July 17 at Plaza Sugbo.

This is in line with the Asong Pinoy Day 2022 celebration which aims to highlight the local breed of dogs commonly known as Aspin.

Maribojoc encouraged Aspin owners to participate in the event to show their pride in their local dog breeds.

The vet also said that many people already want to have Aspins as pets because these dog breeds are more disease resistant.

The Island Rescue Organization (Iro) will also be setting up a helpline during the event where the public can go if they have any concerns when it comes to filing an animal abuse complaint.

The IRO also advocates for responsible driving, as 90% of animal hit and run victims were Aspin.

Iro chairwoman Annalyn Aizpuran said she would put stickers in vehicles to remind drivers to brake when animals cross the road.

Aizpuran further said that he has already helped prosecute three people convicted of abusing or torturing animals, which is a violation of the country’s animal welfare law.

Aizpuran also urged pet owners to be responsible because having a pet is a lifetime commitment so abandonment should not be an option.