Controlling dog population to curb spread of rabies

Veterinarians of the International Wildlife Coalition Trust – Philippines and Provincial Veterinarian’s Office of Iloilo prepare to neuter this dog at a public school in Barangay Mañacabac, Janiuay, Iloilo. The overpopulation of dogs raises the risk of rabies spreading far and wide. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN

ILOILO City – The overpopulation of dogs – and cats – raise the risk of the spread of the rabies virus. Experts say controlling their population could help curb the spread.

Animal welfare organization International Wildlife Coalition Trust (IWCT) kicked off yesterday in the municipality of Janiuay, Iloilo its two-day mission to spay and neuter – for free – dogs and cats in Iloilo.

Today, the second day of the mission, IWTC veterinarians would move their free spaying and neutering to Barangay Buray, Oton town.

Spaying is the removal of the reproductive organs of female dogs and cats while neutering is the removal of the testicles in male dogs and cats.

The surgeries are always performed while the animals are under anesthesia.

In Janiuay yesterday, the mission was held in Barangay Mañacabac. Four cats and 14 dogs were served.

According to Suzzane Llanera, executive director of IWCT Philippines, “gusto namin ma-prevent ang overpopulation ng mga dogs and cats. Marami ang stray dogs, hindi sila inaalagaan, minsan sinasaktan pa. Of course, ito ‘yung cause of rabies din.”

Spayed or neutered dogs and cats would also benefit from the procedures, said Llanera.

These prevent prostate and ovarian cancers and would make the animals grow bigger and live longer.

The procedures are expensive in commercial animal clinics – between P750 to P13,000.

“Thus we at IWCT prioritize ‘yung hindi mayayaman. Pumupunta kami talaga sa mga barangays kasi gusto namin makatulong,” said Llanera.
The number of rabid dogs in Iloilo reached 77 last year, according to the Provincial Veterinarian Office (PVO) – 37 more than 2017’s 40 recorded rabid dogs.

The United Kingdom-based IWCT was founded in 1992 to promote whale and elephant conservation. In 1998, it began a campaign against the trading and slaughtering of dogs for meat in the Philippines.

IWCT now has veterinary and operational teams moving to completely end the dog meat trade in the Philippines while helping dogs, through neutering and spaying clinics and adoption program, as well as ensuring that the standard of treatment and care of animals in the country continues to improve through education./PN


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