Baguio mulls microchip ID implant on dogs

Baguio mulls microchip ID implant on dogs

BAGUIO CITY— To easily identify dogs and its owners, the city veterinary office here is proposing the mandatory registration of the animals by implanting a microchip on the skin which will bear the identification of the animal and its owner, an official said on Monday.

“Our plan is to have dogs registered with microchips, implanted on the skin for identification. It can stay in the dog’s skin for life which will bear its identity – name, age, breed, vaccination record, and the owner’s name,” city veterinary office Dr. Brigitte Piok said.

She said impounded dogs can be identified and their owners are known and notified.

Stray dogs can also be identified and their owners who will be penalized for letting their pets loose on the streets.

This will also help pet owners who lose a pet or in case of a lost and found, she said.

“The microchip is non-transferable unlike the dog collar that can be transferred to another dog because it is embedded in the skin,” Piok said.

She said the proposal is for inclusion in the budget of the department in 2020 for implementation in the same year.

“It is in our plan and we are hopeful that the city council will approve its budget for next year so that we can implement it by 2020,” she said.

Each microchip cost between PHP200 to PHP250.

Based on the dog survey of the vet office in 2016, Piok said there are 60,000 dogs registered with them.

In 2018, the city veterinary office was able to monitor 30,000 dogs through the annual vaccination at the barangays.

The different private veterinary clinics have also catered to about 10,000 dogs, bringing the number of monitored dogs to 40,000 in 2018.

Responsible pet ownership

Piok said owning a dog requires a big responsibility.

“You must be able to afford and provide the food that it needs. You have to provide them the vaccines and medicines they need. You have to be able to register them and pay the penalties for their violation and you have to provide a house to avoid them from going stray,” Piok said.

“Dogs should be in the house or in their house not on the streets,” she added.

Lou and Racky, who takes care of about 100 cats and 15 dogs which they adopt, spend about PHP20,000 a month for food alone. This is aside from the medicines; vaccines and the milk they give to newly adapted stray animals they find roaming the streets.

They built a two-story house for their pets so that they will not roam the compound and will not be contaminated with fleas and disease.

Among the animals which they have adopted include a three-legged cat, a one-eyed cat and a sickly puppy that often needs medication.

Rabies prevention

Piok said the city has an annual program that provides free rabies vaccination in the 128 barangays of Baguio, as a prevention measure. They also give free vaccination daily to walk-in clients.

She said in 2018, only one case of rabid dog was recorded, adding that the vet office has yet to record a rabies case as of this year.

“So far we have not had a case of rabies in Baguio and we hope we can maintain that,” she said.

She called on the residents to leash their dogs to prevent the possibility of contamination as Irisan barangay in Baguio is only 11 kilometers away from where the cases of confirmed rabid bites were recorded in Sablan, Benguet.

The rabies cases led to the town’s declaration of a state of emergency.

As a prevention, the city, she said, gives free vaccines. Stray dogs are also impounded.   Liza Agoot / PNA –