BACOLOD CITY – The city government has formed the Bacolod City Animal Welfare Task Force (BACAW-TF) aimed at identifying, reassessing, and acting on animal welfare concerns here with the primary goal of ensuring responsible pet ownership.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia formed the task force through Executive Order No. 13 following a series of meetings with animal rights group advocates that are concerned about the situation of dogs here.
According to Bach Project PH, a non-profit organization which is into animal advocacy, there are more things discussed aside from turning a high-kill pound to a non-kill shelter.
The group noted that the goal of impounding is to stop the spread of rabies, which is commendable. But rabies is usually spread by stray dogs that have been abandoned or neglected by their owners.
The dog and cat population increases because of these strays, but the population explosion can be prevented by spaying and neutering the dogs and cats, the group said in a statement.
They have proposed spaying and neutering services as it is cheaper that way instead of killing them despite of their innocence.
Other concerns were also discussed during the series of meetings, and long term solutions are on the way.
“We couldn’t be more thankful knowing that the local government is giving a big chance and hope to these innocent and poor animals,” the group said.
Based on the executive order, the task force shall formulate and implement plans and programs for the welfare of animals here, as well as to educate the community to become responsible pet owners.
It was stated in the order that the city recognizes the concerns of animals right groups advocating responsible dog ownership and safeguarding the welfare of impounded animals in the city dog pound.
It was also cited in the order that City Ordinance No. 866 empowers the city government to regulate the keeping of domesticated animals and to control stray and ownerless animals especially dogs and cats.
The task force is led by Leonardia, with Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran as co-chair, City Veterinarian as vice chair; and members from the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), City Legal Office (CLO), City Health Office (CHO), City Engineer’s Office (CEO), Public Information Office (PIO), and volunteer animal welfare groups (BACH Project Ph and PAWSsion Project Ph).
The Sectoral Concerns Office of the City Mayor’s Office is designated as the Secretariat of the Task Force.
In November last year, more than 75 dogs, including puppies, were adopted here before they were supposed to be subjected to euthanasia, through the adoption drive here dubbed “Clear the Pound” in cooperation with the Bacolod City Veterinary Office in Barangay 35 here, according to Bach Project PH.