Legazpi 'dog pantry' lures owners to bring pets for vaccination

LEGAZPI CITY – The distribution of free dog food, soap, shampoo, and vitamins at a "dog pantry" here over the weekend has enticed more owners to voluntarily submit their pets to vaccination against rabies, the City Veterinary Office (CVO) said on Monday.

CVO Chief Dr. Emmanuel Estipona said 14,078 or 70 percent of the targeted 20,000 dogs have been vaccinated since the start of the year under the city’s vaccination program.

Estipona is optimistic that the remaining close to 6,000 still unvaccinated dogs would be inoculated before the end of the year.

PET VAX. A dog owner submits her pet for vaccination at the SM City mall in Legazpi City on Saturday, Sept. 11 (Photo by Emmanuel P. Solis/PNA/Manila Bulletin)

He prodded owners to be responsible for their pets and prevent the spread of rabies by having their dogs vaccinated.

In time for the celebration of World Rabies Month with the theme, “Responsible pet owners are the key to stop stray dog menace and rabies infection in the community,” at least 78 dogs were vaccinated on Saturday during the "dog pantry" at the SM City mall here, Estipona said.

The activity was spearheaded by the CVO in partnership with the SM City, Albay Animal Rescue and Adoption, Doggies Choice, Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company, Bicol Idol FM, and the Philippine Air Force.

“We also captured 2,005 stray dogs in the last nine months as part of the city’s dog elimination campaign,” Estipona said.

He urged pet owners to make sure their animals are kept inside their backyard and not roaming the streets.