More than 4,000 pet dogs and cats have been given anti-rabies vaccines in the cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan and Koronadal as the Rabies Awareness Month draws to a close, local veterinary officials said.
Dr. Robert Malcontento, Cotabato City veterinarian, said the dog and cat vaccination has gained the support of the public with more and more pets being brought to veterinary offices for anti-rabies vaccination.
“Our objective is basically to make the city rabies free by promoting the culture of responsible pet ownership,” Dr. Malcontento said.
March has been declared by the government as rabies awareness month to help come up with a rabies-free and healthy community.
Malcontento said on top of the anti-rabies vaccination, the city veterinary office launched early this year a massive campaign against stray dogs that normally carry the deadly rabies.
More than 800 stray dogs have been collected to date and kept in the city dog pound. Some pet owners claimed their dogs after paying corresponding penalties.
In Kidapawan City, more than 1,500 dogs have been vaccinated with anti-rabies vaccines and more are in the radar of the city veterinary office.
According to Dr. Eugene Gornes, the Kidapawan City veterinary chief, a total of 1,526 dogs and cats have been injected with anti-rabies vaccines during the observance of Rabies Awareness Month.
Gornes said that aside from dog and cat vaccination, his office has performed ligation for six cats and three dogs, all owned by Kidapawan City pet owners.
Since January this year, no dog bite mortality has been recorded in Kidapawan’s 40 villages.
In Koronadal City, more than 1,000 dogs have so far been injected with anti-rabies vaccines as the free vaccination drive continues.
Koronadal City Veterinarian Dr. Charliemagne Calo said vaccination activities continue with city veterinary office personnel conducting free vaccination down to the 27 barangays.
On March 24, the Koronadal City veterinary office will be holding free anti-rabies vaccination to pets in Barangay Poblacion area as part of the culmination activities of the Rabies Awareness Month.
Aside from vaccination, city veterinary workers will also distribute free dog food samples, deworming and other freebies.
According to records from the Department of Health, animal bite deaths rose from 200 to 300 yearly due to rabies infections. (PNA)
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