EditorialNeglected

Neglected

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Promoting responsible pet ownership has been actively promoted around the country for the past many years. There is even a law, the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 that encourages responsible pet ownership and punishes acts of animal neglect.

Still, we see not a few neglected animals, particularly dogs, freely roaming the streets of Dumaguete and Negros Oriental. With no collars, these dogs go anywhere they like to go raiding garbage bins and scattering garbage on the streets. In the worst case scenario, these animals, particularly dogs, cause road accidents. And when these dogs cause accidents, no owner would claim the dog as theirs.

Attention about the neglect for dogs and cats has heightened lately with the death of a ten-year-old boy a few days ago due to rabies. The boy, from Pamplona town, was bitten by a stray dog shortly before Christmas. The same dog also bit the boy’s uncle.

One month later, the boy started to exhibit pain in many parts of his body. The parents brought the boy to a faith healer instead of the hospital. Two days later, the boy could no longer be saved. He could not be admitted in the hospital because the rabies virus had already reached the terminal stage. The boy died one day later.

This could have been prevented through responsible pet ownership. Pet owners have two main responsibilities. They should provide adequate care and sustenance for their pets to protect them from getting rabies. And they are also liable for any damage caused by their pets.  Otherwise, they should not be allowed to have them.

There might even be a local law in Dumaguete and in the towns and cities of Negros Oriental giving teeth to the Animal Welfare Act of 1998. But sadly, as is the case in most parts of the Philippines, these laws are left unenforced. Take a stroll at Dumaguete’s Pantawan and you might even get to step on dog poo that careless dog owners –not the pets–leave behind.

Dogs don’t get to vote, after all.

 

 

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