Unwanted pets crowd city dog pound; adoption rate remains ‘very low’

Pets surrendered by their owners crowd the newly opened dog pound and animal shelter of the Iloilo City government at the Calahunan Sanitary Landfill in Mandurriao district. (Photo by Arnold Almacen)

Pets that were surrendered by their owners crowd the newly-opened dog pound and animal shelter of the Iloilo City government at the Calahunan Sanitary Landfill in Mandurriao district, according to the City Veterinarian Office (CVO).

According to City Veterinarian Dr. Tomas Forteza, adoption rate in the city dog pound remains relatively “very low”.
“Our adoption rate is very very low. Based diri sa record, isa pa lang ka ido kag kuring ang na-adopt,” he said in an interview with Radyo Pilipinas Iloilo on Thursday.

As of July 7, a total of 74 adult dogs and 26 puppies are being fostered at the city’s dog pound, based on the data of the CVO.

Forteza said the majority of the dogs and cats are not stray animals but “unwanted” pets surrendered by their owners.

“Kadamuan indi strays kundi mga unwanted pets, amo na masubo. Damo gasagod sang ila ido, no remorse, dal-on lang nila didto sa facility, some have skin diseases and some are old already and have problems,” he lamented.

The city veterinarian added that they are looking for ways on how to manage the increasing number of unwanted pets that crowd the facility adding that they are no longer adoptable due to their old age and conditions.

“We are thinking of ways paano ni ma-address but usually if gasuffer na ang mga ido and old na, we can put them to sleep, but we are still looking for other ways,” he said.

Forteza admitted that they were not able to anticipate the volume of dogs and cats which were surrendered in the facility.

“May mga nagatawag pa diri from Sta. Barbara nga masurrender sang ila ido. This is an attempt of the city government na maskin mabudlay ining project nga ini ginpangitaan ni mayor nga extra budget to purchase materials and we are hopeful nga pinaagi sa public private partnership masustain ini,” he said.

Last June 14, the Iloilo City government opened its first dog pound and animal shelter at the Calahunan Sanitary Landfill in Mandurriao district.

The facility with an area of 400 square meters has an initial capacity of 30 to 40 dogs. Students from Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TIIC) Molo Campus helped in the construction as well as beautification and landscaping works of the dog pound as part of their on-the-job training.

The facility shall temporarily house the abandoned dogs and stray animals. They will be neutered and spayed and shall undergo the required medications while waiting to be adopted.

Currently, the facility has temporarily stopped receiving unwanted pets that are being surrendered unless considered emergency cases.

Meanwhile, the CVO reminded the public, especially pet owners, to be “responsible” in taking care of their pets.

Forteza urged owners who wish to turn over their pets to the facility to first coordinate with the CVO as the office will help them in the rehoming process.

“Instead of surrendering it to our facility, take the picture of your furbaby, put all the details, address, edad, so that we can find them a new home. Indi solution ang dog pound. At least, indi na mag-agi sa crowded facility ang inyo ido, we can help by sharing it to our social media pages,” he said.

The city veterinarian also appealed to Ilonggo dog lovers to visit the city pound and open their homes to native dogs and cats in the facility.

“We are pleading to the public who are really dog lovers to visit our pound, there are maybe dogs there meant for you nga pwede maging parte sang family niyo. We would like to appeal not only to residents of Iloilo but to other municipalities who are really dog lovers. Don’t expect any breed, even if native dogs they are still very good pets nga mabuot and pwede mangin part sang family ninyo,” he said. (DG)