Just recently, an order was made to capture and collect stray dogs in the vicinity in a bid to ensure public safety and maintain integrity of public property. The order also included ‘mercy killing’ of unclaimed stray dogs through ‘euthanasia’.
This spawned local outrage in Iloilo City. Several local animal organizations expressed their protest through social media. Some individuals also made signature petitions online.
“I write this petition in behalf of a lot of my fellow Ilonggo animal lovers. More importantly, I write this petition in behalf of all the stray dogs who cannot speak for themselves,” a statement from Mikaela Chavez who started a signature petition ‘Stop the Stray Dog Mercy Killing in Iloilo City’ via Change.org. By far, almost 7,000 individuals have signed the petition.
Moreover, local newspaper Panay News published an article entitled ‘Kill Stray Dogs? Euthanize their Owners Instead’. The headline was a common cry of locals reprimanding irresponsible canine owners. Some netizens also expressed that some alleged ‘dog lovers’ are selective of certain dogs breeds, pushing more aspins out of homes and into the streets.
AWA Iloilo, a local animal organization, also expressed their concern for the strays on death row.
“As much as we want to save all of them, such is an impossible feat. While working on a local ordinance for the strays and their welfare, we are offering our services to the Office of the City Veterinarian for posting of captured dogs and looking for homes for them during the 72 hours grace period,” was a statement on the AWA Iloilo Facebook page.
Team Aspin of Iloilo – TAIL, another local animal organization, published an open letter to the Mayor.
“Dear Mayor Trenas, please reconsider the mandate to round up and “mercy kill” the stray dogs in the city in a move to stop their supposed destruction of plants at the esplanade. Dogs are not destructive. Humans are. Dogs are sentient beings, and given a chance, have proven countless times to be man’s best friend. There is a quote by James Herriot that says “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.
Iloilo is a thriving city. Let it be one of the very few pioneers in the country in TNR (trap, neuter, release), dog feeding programs, as well as humane dog pounds advocating for adoption instead of euthanasia as a blanket rule. (Euthanasia should only be used to save a dog or cat from a life of pain and suffering.) There are already a few groups within Iloilo active in dog rescues and advocating animal rights – TAIL (Team Aspin of Iloilo), CLARS (Center for Living Animals Rehab and Shelter) to name a few. Please tap them and work with them. We need a sustainable and just solution to a problem that is not of the stray dogs’ making. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. Mayor Trenas, our stray dogs need you to make a humane stand,” an open letter to the City Mayor by Jean Co of Team Aspin of Iloilo – TAIL.
Iloilo City Mayor has also responded to the issue and encouraged adoption of stray dogs. According to Treňas, the City Government will coordinate with groups and individuals willing to adopt homeless dogs. However, the City Government regrets to announce that unclaimed strays that remain unadopted will be eventually euthanized.
“Ginahingyo ni Mayor Jerry Treñas ang pag-adopt sang mga stray dogs nga dakpon sang City Veterinarian’s Office agud indi na sila pag i-mercy killing. Suno kay Treñas, ma-coordinate ang City Government sa mga groups kag individuals nga luyag mag-adopt sang ido. Kun wala gid sang may ma-adopt, wala na sang may mahimo ang syudad kundi nga ipaidalum sa mercy killing ang mga ido. Nagalaum ang alkalde nga mahangpan ini sang tanan bangud para ini sa seguridad sang publiko. Dugang pa niya, madamo sang ido nga nagalagaw sa pampubliko nga lugar rason nga dapat dakpon. Nauna na nga gin-report nga isa sa mga tinutuyo sang pagpanakop sang stray dogs amu ang indi pagguba sang mga tanum nga ila ginakaykay,” original post from Aksyon Radyo Iloilo.