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In Baguio, irresponsible dog owners are facing charges.

Animal welfare campaigners in the city applauded the city council for passing a resolution empowering the city’s legal office to file charges against bad dog owners.

“We have seen so many heartbreaks for rescues in our more than a year of rescuing: abandoned, neglected by their owners. The Baguio City Pound, which many people loathe, continues to exist because owners let their dogs out on the loose, unconcerned about the risk they pose “In a social media post on Tuesday, the Furvent Animal Rescue and Advocacy Group claimed.

Once fewer dogs are impounded at the city pound, the group says it may fight for the establishment of an adoption center.

“They (City Pound) can catch 30 dogs per day, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.” Even if owners are aware, they will not claim their dogs and will instead adopt another. They are not held accountable for their irresponsible acts, and their dog is suffering as a result,” the group stated.

In a phone interview on Monday, Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda said the approved resolution requested and authorized the City Legal Office to take legal action against violators of Ordinance No. 19 Series of 2021 or the Responsible Dog Ownership Ordinance of Baguio City, in coordination with the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO).

She claims that dog owners who fail to properly perform their responsibilities as dog owners are breaking the law to the disadvantage of others or causing pain to other citizens.

“This purposeful and deliberate neglect places a huge responsibility on the community, the local government, and all front-line workers in maintaining a safe and healthy environment for everybody, humans, and pets alike,” she added.

Jordan Habbiling, the Baguio City Council’s communication officer, said in a press release on Monday that the Responsible Dog Ownership Ordinance merely requires dog owners to have the financial wherewithal to care for their pets.

According to the ordinance, dog owners must also submit their canines for required registration and inoculation, keep up-to-date records, and provide their dogs with sufficient grooming, adequate food, and clean shelter.

Pet owners must also establish a good health management program for their dogs, keep control of their dogs in public locations by using a leash, and always collect and dispose of their pets’ wastes.

Dog owners must also take all reasonable steps to keep their dogs from becoming stray or becoming a nuisance, report any dog-biting incidence immediately and take proper precautions, aid dog bite victims, and bear all costs associated with the victim’s injuries.

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