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World Rabies Day celeb in Pampanga centers on responsible pet ownership

Fur parents practice responsible pet ownership by having their pets vaccinated against rabies during the celebration of the World Rabies Day at the Waltermart, City of San Fernando, Pampanga. (PIA 3)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital (JBLMGH) and City Government of San Fernando remind the public about responsible pet ownership.

During the observance of the World Rabies Day, JBLMGH Animal Bite Treatment Center Chair Juan Paulo Maturan said prevention is the key to eliminate rabies cases both in humans and animals.

“When we talk about prevention, responsible pet ownership comes in. Because when we talk about being responsible pet owners, it does not only mean giving your pets enough and clean supply of water and food. Vaccinating your dogs and cats against rabies is also one way of being responsible pet owner or fur parents,” he said. 

Maturan stressed that when pets are vaccinated against the virus, there is lesser chances of transmission from pets to pets or from animals to humans. 

“That’s why we do these activities [observances], so that our pet owners know that it is important to vaccinate their pets to reduce and end rabies in humans. We must remember that responsible pet ownership is a lifetime commitment,” he said. 

Meanwhile, City of San Fernando Veterinarian Ryan Paul Manlapaz said that aside from annual vaccination of cats and dogs, it is also important for pet owners to leash their pets and to not let them roam around outside. 

“If you allow your pet to wander around, chances are it may bite people or get infected from stray dogs,” he said, 

Manlapaz said it is also important that owners do not harm their pets by kicking, stoning, or pulling any part of their body so that they do not become aggressive. 

During his talk, the veterinarian said that should pets happen to bite humans, owners should leash or put them in cages and observe changes in their behavior for 14 days. 

From January to August 2023, Manlapaz shared that the city government already vaccinated a total of 6,786 pets. 

It has also impounded a total of 592 stray animals during the same period and continues to conduct spaying and neutering to control the animal population in the city. 

Rabies is a zoonotic disease from the saliva of vectors such as dogs and cats. It is 100 percent fatal yet 100 percent preventable through vaccination. (CLJD/MJSC-PIA 3)