Some people, especially pet lovers and children, could not just resist touching or trying to get the attention of working dogs that they would encounter in malls, ports, and other government and business establishments. And it’s understandable–they are really cute.
But the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) reminded the public to restrain themselves in dealing with what it described as working dogs, or those which were tapped for security purposes such as bomb-sniffing dogs.
According to PAWS, working dogs are not just ordinary pets that can be touched, say hi to, or interact with.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, April 24, PAWS has shared some safety reminders on how to deal with a working dog when encountering them.
LET WORKING DOGS DO THEIR JOB IN PEACE. Some dogs have very important jobs to do! These are called working dogs, and…
Ask permission to owner or handler if they can pet and give food to working dogs
First, PAWS said people should always ask for permission from the owner or handler to interact with the working dogs if they find it irresistible not to intereact with. However, the group said it is better to refrain from distracting the working dogs and their owners when they are outside.
“You should also avoid making eye contact and playful gestures to catch the dog’s attention,” the organization said.
The PAWS also discouraged the public in giving the working dogs food because it will not just disturb them but also might put the other citizens near the area in danger.
“Food is the best distraction and even the most highly-trained dogs have trouble controlling themselves,” the PAWS said.
Dogs might pick a fight
The organization encouraged the citizens to keep some distance between their own dogs and the working dogs to avoid distracting them to do their jobs.
“Working dogs have a job to do, so other animals should not distract them. The worst-case scenario is that one of the dogs might pick a fight,” it said.
Politely tell their owner or handler if there are concerns and inquiries to the working dogs.
“Don’t make kissy noises at the dog, as these just make you look obnoxious and ignorant,” the PAWS added.
Stay calm and resist the urge to interact
If a working dog comes near or sniffs the citizen, let the handler know it immediately, the organization underscored.
“Stay calm and resist the urge to interact with the dog,” the PAWS said.
The group also reminded the citizens not to ask a service dog owner about their disability because “it is disrespectful and an invasion of their privacy.”
If ever seen a working dog abused or mistreated in the malls or private areas, contact the area managers immediately.
For concerns and inquiries, they can contact PAWS at [email protected] or the Animal Health and Welfare Division Bureau of Animal Industry at (02)8528-2240 loc. 1501 or 8526-2226.