More than 100 dog owners and their furry companions gathered in Brgy. Dap-Dap, Legazpi City, for two events aimed at promoting responsible pet ownership and raising funds for Mayon evacuees last August 18-19.

The first event, held Friday, is a basic dog obedience and responsible pet ownership training, where dog owners were taught how to train their pets on basic obedience techniques.

The resource person, an international dog trainer and member of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), was able to provide valuable insights on how to properly train and bond with one’s pet. 

Second event, held Saturday, was a dog walk for a cause, aimed at raising funds for Mayon evacuees. The event was a huge success, with more than P50,000 raised for the cause. According to Dr. Emmanuel Estipona of the City Veterinary Office (CVO), the aim of these 

activities is to create environmental change and draw awareness on responsible pet ownership. 

“Alam niyo ang pets pwede maging animal assisted, sa depression, sa anxiety and other mental health issues lalo na sa physical wellness ‘yung paglalakad-lakad lang po ng pets, you are enjoying the companionship,” Dr. Estipona said. 

He added that there are around 19,000 dog owners in Legazpi City and by promoting responsible pet ownership, they are hoping to improve the relationship between pets and their owners, as well as decrease the incidence of stray dogs in the community. 

During the event, organizers also provided training on responsible pet ownership, which includes the basic responsibilities of pet owners, such as proper feeding, vaccination, and seeking veterinary attention when necessary. 

The second responsibility is to ensure that their pets do not create damage, disturbance, or trouble with the community. This includes keeping their pets on a leash when walking and being mindful of their behavior around other people and animals. 

To further promote responsible pet ownership, Dr. Estipona plan to provide free basic obedience training in 70 barangays in Legazpi City. 

By doing so, they hope to create a community of responsible pet owners who will not only benefit from the mental and physical health benefits of owning a pet but also contribute to the safety and well-being of the community. 

“That’s why what we are up to it now, hindi lang po infections rabies ang tututukan natin but to have an environment of responsible pet owners and ito pong nakikita kong pinaka-effective in controlling rabies, in controlling stray dogs in the community,” Dr. Estipona said. | Jeric Lopez 

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Photo courtesy: Emmanuel Estipona