Responsible pet ownership and basic animal rights were underscored at the first-ever Animal Welfare Summit in Bacolod City Sunday.
The event, on the theme “Making Bacolod a Friendly and Safe Haven for Pets, Strays, and Pet Lovers Alike”, was held to address the increasing number of stray cats and dogs in the city.
Spearheaded by the Bacolod City Animal Welfare Task Force, chaired by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, the AWS also highlighted the importance of animal spaying and neutering, a press release from the city said.
“We are promoting spay and neuter to protect both the animals and the city. This is just the beginning of a better and animal-friendly Bacolod,” PAWSsion Project Ph head, Malou Perez, who gave an educational talk on the subject, said.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran congratulated private organizations advocating for animal rights and the Bacaw-TF for jointly mounting the event, and lauded them for their synergy and cooperation.
Councilor Renecito Novero, a dog owner himself, commended Leonardia for the latter’s efforts to make Bacolod an animal-friendly city.
PAWSsion Project Ph and Bach Project Ph are private partners of the city government in organizing the summit.
The City Veterinary Office, City Health Office, City Engineer’s Office, the Bacolod City Police Office, and the Public Information Office also helped in organizing the AWS, that kicked off with a motorcade at 7 a.m., followed by the 9 a.m. program at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds.
The City Veterinary Office offered 500 free anti-rabies vaccination shots for the pets of dog owners in attendance.
Attendees were also given free pet food at the “Community Pawntry”, sponsored by TopBreed.
The event also featured a basic dog obedience training, led by Spy Dekeling, and the staging of an animal adoption booth, dubbed “Give Furbuddy a Home Program”.
The Bacaw-TF also gave out stickers as part of its massive “brake for animals” campaign.
Bach Project PH representative Daniel Sam Salvatierra said animal owners should be responsible for their own pets, the press release said.
P/Major Sherlock Gabana of the BCPO, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of respect for basic animal rights.
The Bacaw-TF said minimum health protocols were observed during the event.*