Irresponsible pet ownership a threat to humans
Abandoning dogs, which is one example of irresponsible pet ownership is seen as a threat to humans and other dogs after a canine rescued by the Animal Welfare Association-Iloilo in Brgy. Cuartero, Jaro, Iloilo City recently showed that it had rabies.
Rabies is a virus transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. It affects the brain and results to death. Initially, a person infected with rabies experiences fever, headache and weakness. Prior to death, the symptoms are anxiety, confusion, insomnia, partial paralysis, hallucinations, increase in saliva, difficulty in swallowing and fear of water.
“The case of Yael was reported to AWA-Iloilo through Facebook by Lilia Mondejar Marquez, the same person who also adopted him after he was rescued,” said Krista Filermeo, AWA-Iloilo volunteer and rescuer.
“His owner left for Hong Kong and abandoned him. He was tied up to a tree with no shelter from rain or sun. He climbed the tree so he can rest well because the ground was already full of his waste and other dirt. He didn't have access to clean food and clean water as well. He was very skinny, had mange and wounds all over his body. AWA-Iloilo brought him to our partner veterinarian, Banga Veterinary Clinic for treatment,” said AWA-Iloilo chairperson Anna Marie Wharton.
“He showed signs of aggression and had lost appetite. He was found to have rabies. For the safety of the rest, it was agreed that Yael be put down. As much as this pains us, we did not waver. We did not stop supporting him until he had to go,” Wharton said.
THREAT TO OTHERS
With this, Wharton encourages the public to be responsible pet owners for everybody’s safety.
Section 6 of the Republic Act No. 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 provides that, “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.”
Based on Section 9 of Republic Act 1063, an act amending certain sections of RA 8485, Yael’s owner may face imprisonment of one year and 6 months and one to two days and/or a fine not exceeding P100,000 because it died of neglect. This is the same for cruelty and maltreatment.
If an animal lives yet unable to survive on its own and needs human intervention, the violator will face imprisonment of one year and one day to one year and six months and/or a fine not exceeding P50,000. If the animal lives without incapacity, the violator will be imprisoned for six months to one year and fined P30,000.