Quezon City will launch a citywide dog vaccination drive next week to highlight the city government’s continuing effort to make QC a rabies-free community
The city health department, through the veterinary office, plans to cover about 70,000 dogs during the three-month long mass vaccination drive.
Barangays registering high incidence of animal bites and human rabies deaths shall be given priority during the campaign, which will be conducted by the city government in partnership with the Rotary Clubs of Rotary International – District 3780 of Quezon City, Cubao Lions Club, Veterinary Foundation and the Animal Welfare Coalition.
According to city veterinarian Dr. Maria Ana Cabel, urban poor communities in District II posted higher animal bite cases. The list includes Barangays Gulod, Sta. Monica, Payatas, Kaligayahan, Batasan Hills, Nagkaisang Nayon and Culiat.
In 2010, the QC veterinary office reported eight cases of human rabies deaths. Of the eight, seven victims came from District II. The youngest fatality was six-year old Raymond Pascua, from Payatas B, who was bitten by a stray dog.
Dr. Cabel reported that stray dogs continue to remain as major transmitter of rabies.
The QC government maintains an animal bite center at the city health department office where animal bite patients are entitled to two free post exposure treatments.
Mayor Herbert Bautista has already ordered the formation of an anti-rabies task force to oversee the implementation of the QC rabies elimination program, which was also supported by the enactment of local ordinances on dog control regulating the ownership and possession of dogs in homes and businesses.
Quezon City also maintains an impounding area in Payatas for dogs, cats, fowls and other domestic animals which are left unattended in all QC public places.
For the first six months of the year, nearly 1,800 stray dogs and cats were brought to the city pound. Unredeemed animals shall be disposed through adoption or euthanasia.
The city’s rabies elimination program also covers the castration and neutering of dogs and cats. Precy/ Jonah/ Maureen Quiñones, PAISO