Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Must Love Dogs

If by any chance you happened to see my friendster account, its quite obvious that I love my dogs. Hint I created Barry a friendster account and have pictures of them in my own profile. Others thought "Ohhh... your dog is soo cute" while some made a song and dance about why I created an account for Barry. "Ginawan mo pa talaga ng friendster ang aso mo ha... (You even created your dog a friendster account!?!)". Odd as it may seem but creating a Friendster account does not even measure up to what my dogs have given me and my family.

Barry saved my life as to how and when this happened, although a wonderful story its too personal for me to blog. What amazing creatures God has blessed us to have. ( ...eye glasses fogging...) Barry is special to me since he is the first dog that I was actually held responsible for. Feeding him, bathing and grooming, giving him vitamins, cleaning his "accidents" and sees to it thathe vists the vet at least once every 2 months.

To give you a profile of my dog: Barry looks arrogant and royal, possessive, a very picky eater, enjoys being alone unlike Sophie who likes to tag along, go outside and play with other dogs. Barry prefers indoors with his toys and snubs other dogs. Unusual as it may seem but Barry does not go on a barking spree (hehehe I see your eyebrows rising) unlike other dogs. He only barks when he needs something and he can be very demanding...

A list of when Barry would bark: If he likes to play. If his ball is under the couch or somewhere unreachable (like the extra toys inside the closet). If he is hungry or thirsty. If he likes you to open the door after doing his business outside (potty) or if he gets locked inside a room and would want to go out. Finally, he barks when you tell him to... "Barry Speak" and he will bark.

All in all we have 5 dogs namely Barry(3 yr 3 month old male shih-tzu), Sophie(11 month old female shih-tzu), Cleo (1 yr and 9 month old female mixed breed labrador and great dane), Tommy (11 yr old male monggrel) and Bantay (age unknown male monggrel).

Bantay ( means protector, to guard) has been with us for more than a year and actually has a funny story as to how he became a member of our family. He was a stray dog at our village. My uncle regularly feeds him and one day he just eventually followed him home. At first my parents hesitated to adopt Bantay since he was a stray dog and might have rabies or something. In due course, they accepted him since every morning that my mom and dad jogged Bantay would accompany them around the village. They were captivated on how intelligent this dog was. We dubbed him Bantay eversince. Bantay ng Gate si Bantay.

In relation to today's entry, I was able to watch Kotrobersyal hosted by Boy Abunda last Saturday and one of the stories featured was "Stray Dogs: Shoot to Kill". The mayor of Binalbagan, a town in Negros Occidental, implemented an ordinance the "shoot to kill stray dogs". With the ordinance came a list of those who are authorized by the mayor to implement the said law. The ordinance was created in-line with the towns rising stray dog population, the cases of dog bites, motorcycle and car accidents wherein stray dogs are said to be the "culprits". The authorized men ,equipped with airguns, would have their rounds twice a week at night while everyone is asleep or already inside their homes. An average of 20 dogs are killed per round. Dogs that are exempted from the shooting are those with collars or those who are near their owners houses/gate. "Human Life was more important" this was the only statement given when the reporters asked for the provincial governments reason for such an ordinance.

In the program they showed how the team did their rounds and I was appalled by one particular incident. A stray dog in the public market was hiding from the "shoot to kill team" they chased the dog and eventually heard a gunshot, the dog was dead. Prior to the shot the dog was caught on camera, he did not exhibit any violent actions towards the cameramen and the reporter, the dogs instinct was simply to hide. Another incident involved a dog growling as he was captured by the neck, animal instinct is to protect ones-self, and was shot but not in the head (which is the more humane thing to do). The reporter asked a member of the team as to how they would determine which to shoot or not to shoot. The man replied "Yung mga nanglalaban, tulad nyan ( We shot dogs that are violent, like this one)". Seeing the actual footage, one could see that the dog was merely defending himself from being captured.

I was also informed the other day that our province was also implementing the same ordinance.

My reaction in general.

I could accept the ordinance as a last resort, Plan C probably. There are other ways of controlling the stray dogs population and as well as the cases of dog bites and vehicular accidents. PREVENTION should be given emphasis. First of all I'd like to ask whether the said "author" is aware and referred to Animal Welfare Act 8485 while he was drafting the ordinance.

SECTION 6: It shall be unlawful for any person to torture any
animal, or to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or
maltreat any animal
or to subject any dog or horse to dogfights or
horsefights, kill or cause or produce to be tortured or deprived of
adequate care sustenance or shelter, or maltreat
or use the same in
research or experiments not expressly authorized by the Committee on Animal

The killing of any animal other
than cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabaos, horses, deer and
crocodiles is likewise hereby declared unlawful except in the following

2. When the pet animal is afflicted with an incurable
communicable disease/s determined and certified by a duly licensed
4. When it is done to prevent an imminent danger to
the life or limb of a human being;
5. When done for the purpose of animal
population control;
Any other ground analogous to the
foregoing as determined and certified by a licensed veterinarian.

In all the above mentioned cases, including
those of cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabaos, horses, deer
and crocodiles, the killing of the animals shall be done through humane
procedure at all times.

For this purpose, humane
procedures shall mean the use of the most scientific methods available

as may be determined and approved by the committee.
Only those procedures
approved by the Committee shall be used in the killing of animals.

SECTION 8: Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction by final judgment, be punished by imprisonment of not less than six (6) months nor more than (2) years or a fine of not less than One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) or both at the discretion of the Court. If the violation is committed by a juridical person, the officer responsible thereof shall serve the imprisonment when imposed. If the violation is committed by an alien, he o she shall be immediately deported after the service of sentence without any further proceedings.

Limited as it may seem but the Animal Welfare Act provides a solution to the provinces problem with stray dogs. First of all strictly implement that all residents register their dogs, providing the Name of the dog's owner, address and how many dogs they have. Upon registering the dog owner would sign an agreement sighting that he will provide adequate care, sustenance, shelter located within the owners backyard/ premises, the dog must have a collar and leashed at all times. The owner is also obligated to have their dogs subjected to yearly rabies shots and violation to the agreement would mean payment of a fine or even imprisonment.

The government could also invest on Spay/Neuter equipments rather than wasting money on airguns, which costs P12,000+ per gun. If they can afford to buy guns and bullets they can surely buy the said equipments. Holding programs such as Ant-rabies campaigns with free rabies shots or free Spay/Neuter for the local dog owners. A local dog pound could also be established. Remaining stray dogs would be impounded. If no one claims as the owner of the dog, the dog could be put up for adoption (for a certain fee) or put to sleep.

It may seem easier to just shoot to kill an animal and maybe human life is more valuable, but this does not mean that we "human beings" are always at the top of everything, that we are superior. Animals are created by God for a purpose and He left us to be responsible and take care of His creations NOT to play god.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." -Mahatma Gandhi


t-na @ 7:45 AM| 0 comments