September 28, 2016
More than 3,400 dogs living in Philippines’ largest dumpsite vaccinated against rabies
Humane Society International and the Quezon City government observed World Rabies Day by vaccinating 3,438 dogs at the Payatas dumpsite
To mark World Rabies Day, teams with Humane Society International and the Quezon City’s rabies-free department vaccinated 3,438 dogs living in the Philippines’ largest, open dumpsite against rabies as part of a program to control the community’s dog population.
The 27,340 dogs in Payatas survive on scavenging and food provided by local caregivers, many themselves living off of the dumpsite. The vaccinations started on 23 September and concluded today in what was the first-ever community mass dog rabies vaccination program conducted at the site. HSI has also sterilized 1,383 dogs in Payatas and will continue the vaccination and sterilization drive.
Dr. Rey Del Napoles, HSI’s country program manager for the Philippines, said, “Payatas has always been neglected because of its proximity to the dumpsite. But the dogs here were in great need of care and attention. Vaccinating and sterilizing them will improve the health of the dogs and improve safety. The local government’s support to make Philippines rabies-free has been at the heart of this project. The communities living around Payatas love these dogs and consider them an essential part of the community. We are heartened by the gratitude expressed by local residents for the care their dogs received.”
Dr. Simeon Amurao Jr., with the Bureau of Animal Industry in the Philippines, pledged to help ensure that the target number of dogs in Barangay Payatas are vaccinated and to extend the contracts of the vaccinators.
HSI also conducted a dog population survey in District 2, home to five Barangays (communities), including Payatas. HSI and Quezon City plan to vaccinate and sterilize dogs in these four Barangays as well to create a healthier community and reduce the danger of rabies.
The Quezon City government has taken several steps to make the dumpsite a safer place since a landslide in the early 2000s killed more than 200 people, but little effort has been made for the dogs here, until now.
HSI has been working in the Philippines since 2009 and has offered surgical training to local veterinarians, mass sterilization and vaccination on several islands, and direct response and rescue to impacted animals following natural disasters.
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