Group in Iloilo embarks on dog rescue and rehab

“This female dog, we named Hope, was found dying by the sidewalk. The bystanders said that in the morning of Sept. 18, this dog was found limping and salivating while entering a house from where a carpenter tied a rope around her neck and pulled her outside after she refused to promptly leave. While outside the gate, the dog rested but the people continued to shoo her away. Finding it difficult to move her legs any further, she laid down on the pavement. It was only 9 pm of the same day when Ms. Bagaforo heard a crying dog and later found Hope's almost lifeless body in feats of successive seizures. Ms. Bagaforo immediately wrapped the dog and gave first aid measures.”
“Hope” was confined in one veterinary hospital and received donations of dog food and medicines, but she died yesterday.
This post is among the many stories about stray dogs taken under the wing of Animal Welfare Association-Iloilo, founded this year by Anna Marie Rivera-Wharton.
The group is taking the challenge of ensuring the animals’ well-being through rescue, rehabilitation, adoption and making violators of the Philippines’ animal welfare law accountable.
Just recently, the group has received a report from a television news anchor that she saw a dog being beaten by a male employee of Andok’s Restaurant in Jaro, Iloilo City.
“He really beat the dog so hard. Even if the dog was already running away, he chased after it. I wondered where I could file the complaint. It’s a good thing that there is an AWA in Iloilo now,” she said.
THE LAW
Republic Act No. 8485, an act to promote animal welfare in the Philippines, Section 6 states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to torture any animal, to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat any animals or to subject any dog or horse to dogfights or horse fights, kill or cause or procure 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 welfare.”
Meanwhile, Section 8 provides for the penalty of the violators. It states, “Any person who violate, any of the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction by final judgment, be punished by imprisonment of not less than six months nor more than two years or a fine of not less than P1,000 nor more than P5,000 or both at the discretion of the court.”
SUSTAINABILITY
However, AWA-Iloilo needs funds in order to sustain its operations.
So, they have lined up fund-raising activities like a dinner buffet on October 16, 6:30 p.m. at Steps of Rome, Plazuela de Iloilo and a garage sale of new and previously owned items at the Regatta Hotel (formerly Residence Hotel), Gen. Luna Street on October 18 and 19.
They are also selling AWA-Iloilo shirts for P230 each.
The group is also looking for volunteers.
“No act is small. Volunteer in any of these areas: Administrative, networking/marketing, rescue, rehabilitation, foster, adoption and fundraising,” AWA-Iloilo posted.
Those interested are invited to come to the volunteers’ orientation day on September 28, 2:30 p.m. at The Appetite, Gen. Luna Street.
DOG POUND
Meanwhile, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog admitted that the City Veterinarian’s Office has stopped catching stray dogs because their vehicle is not operational.
“We will provide funds to buy a new service so they can get more stray dogs,” he said.
He also shared the city government’s plan to convert the old slaughterhouse in North San Jose, Molo into a warehouse for their equipment as well as more stray dogs because the motorpool is currently full.

"AWA will be working hand and hand with them to alleviate the condition of our city shelter. Working with them also in their educational campaign for responsible pet ownership," AWA-Iloilo’s Facebook post said.*

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