ILOILO City – Just a proposal. This was how Mayor Jerry Treñas described the “mercy killing” of stray dogs here.
“I have not been consulted about that proposal. I was surprised that was announced without consultation,” he said yesterday.
According to Dr. Tomas Forteza, city veterinarian, apprehended stray dogs would be impounded at the city government motorpool on Delgado Street where owners could claim them.
Unclaimed stray dogs would be euthanized by overdosing them with barbiturates.
“If no one shows up to claim the dogs or adopt them, we will do mercy killing. We will put them to sleep,” Forteza.
But according to Treñas, “I have not yet approved any. We will not do it.”
Three days ago, animal lover Mikaela Chavez kick-started an online petition (“Stop the Stray Dog Mercy Killing in Iloilo City”) right after the City Veterinary Office announced it would round up stray dogs and kill them for destroying ornamental plants at the Iloilo Esplande and elsewhere in the metropolis.
As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the petition already had 7,300 signatories.
“Waay ko pa gani naistoya si Vice (Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon) kag mga konsehal parti sina. We will have to think that out very carefully,” said Treñas.
City Beautification Program head Ninda Atinado recently sought the City Veterinary Office’s help. She said not only humans but stray dogs, too, were vandalizing ornamental plants that the city government planted at the Iloilo Esplanade and the median strip of the Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue in Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao district.
For now, Treñas said, the immediately thing to do is look for a vehicle that the City Veterinary Office could use for catching stray dogs as well as a space for a dog pound.
“After may salakyan na kag dog pound, then maybe we could start thinking about what else to do. We will work on this slowly so that we will be able to come up with a very good program for pet welfare,” Treñas said.
For the time being, he said, “It is incumbent among owners to be responsible with their dogs.”
Councilor Jay Treñas, on the other hand, said under Regulation Ordinance No. 2018-024 (An Ordinance Creating the Iloilo City Pound), barangays shall provide temporary impounding/holding facility for stray dogs and other animals at large.
“Dugay na naton gina ayo sa city government nga makapatindog sang fully functional shelter or city pound. Napasaran na naton ini ordinance madugay na pero wala pa naka-take into effect,” the city councilor said./PN