SAN ANTONIO, Nueva Ecija – Reported cases of dog bites have surged in this first-class municipality, prompting Mayor Arvin C. Salonga to raise the alarm and call for the imposition of stricter sanctions or penalties against irresponsible owners who would let their dogs stray and bite other people.
Salonga said he would propose to the town council to amend the existing ordinance on stray animals, and impose an additional fine of up to P2,500 against erring pet owners, and which also would include as a form of penalty, the rendering of at least a week of community service in the neighborhood.
The mayor expressed alarm over the sudden upsurge of dog bite cases from the month of September until October citing that the total cost of treatment for these cases have already eaten up the town’s local budget for health services worth P200,000 for the 3rd quarter.
He lamented that the municipal health office has virtually become the district’s “treatment center” of dog bites because it is reportedly the only office being accredited by the Department of Health in the province’s fourth district, noting that those patients from San Leonardo town are among those being referred to for treatment at their facilities here.
“Binilang ko ang mga aso nakakalat sa kalsada mula Poblacion dito hanggang Bgy. San Francisco, ito ay may layong kulang walong kilometero at malamang na aabot sa mahigit isang daan lahat ang asong gala,” said Salonga, citing the urgent need to adopt stronger measures for proper dog population control and management.
In his monthly report, Dr. Robert P. Marcelo, municipal health officer said at least 34 patients, with 22 from this town and 12 from other municipalities in the fourth district have received anti-rabies vaccination each, while some 191 patients, 179, 118, and 106 patients have also been injected with the first, second, third and fourth doses, respectively, of the anti-rabies vaccine each.