Dog ownership ordinance approved
In accordance with the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 (RA No. 9482), registration of dogs aged three months and above is mandatory. In Baguio City, the registration may be done through microchipping, dog tagging, or other safe and reliable means.
This is one of the regulations imposed by the Responsible Dog Ownership Ordinance approved by the city council on the third and final reading during the regular session on February 8, 2021.
The said ordinance authored by Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda is a codification of all the city’s legislations on dog ownership.
Along with the codification, Tabanda has also introduced some amendments to certain provisions of some ordinances on dog ownership taking into account national laws that prescribe rules in the care, maintenance, and disposition of dogs and some concerns raised by certain dog owners during public consultations.
Under the ordinance, a certificate shall be issued upon registration of the dog. The issued registration certificate shall contain the identity number of the dog which shall be permanent or until the lifetime of the dog except in cases of transfer of ownership.
The methods of registration may be done through microchipping, dog-tagging, or other means as determined to be safe and reliable by the CVAO. The method shall be at the discretion of the dog owner.
The dog tag provided by the dog owner must be with a collar to be worn on the dog. The size, as prescribed by the CVAO, must be big enough to contain the registration number and the name and address of the owner.
Should the owner choose the registration through microchipping, the microchip to be implanted on the dog must also contain the registration number and the name and address of the owner. All microchips shall be implanted by a duly authorized veterinarian whether in private clinics or at the CVAO. The veterinary must issue a Certificate of Implantation. The manner of implantation shall be at the option of the owner who must execute a certificate of consent.
For efficient record-keeping, the CVAO shall maintain an updated database of all the information which, if feasible, shall include the following:
Dog owner’s name, address, contact number, email address and other vital information; dog’s name, breed, sex, color, and other pertinent information; date of rabies vaccination/expiration; vaccine used; and veterinarian’s name.
The registration fee shall be P50 inclusive of the registration certificate.
The microchip, if implanted at the CVAO, shall cost P400.00
A fee worth P100 shall be paid for the reissuance of lost or damaged certificates, or for the update on the certificate.
The ordinance shall also require the mandatory vaccination of all dogs to be administered by a licensed veterinarian or a trained vaccinator under direct veterinary supervision. If the vaccination is done by a private veterinarian, the dog owner shall submit a record of proof of vaccination signed by the veterinarian upon registration.
In case the dog has been vaccinated and microchipped by a private licensed veterinary practitioner, the owner shall bring the dog to the CVAO within 10 days for proper registration and identification with a fee worth P100.00.
Dog owners who refuse/fail to have their dogs registered and immunized against rabies shall be meted a fine of P2,000 (Section 11 of RA 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007).
In case of death of the registered/microchipped dog, the owner shall inform the barangay within five days, then the latter shall inform the CVAO within five days for proper recording.
In case of transfer or change of ownership of a registered/microchipped dog, the first owner shall bring the dog to the CVAO for the change of registration. The new owner shall pay a registration fee worth P100.
Absence of a dog tag or microchip (or any other means of registration) on dogs over three months shall mean non-registration and shall be a violation of the ordinance.
The CVAO shall charge P80 per dog for the vaccination services. However, anti-rabies vaccination shall be free of charge during the Pasadang Pambarangay, first week of March in celebration of Anti Rabies Month, World Rabies Day, and when the vaccines were obtained free of charge.
Dog owners who have not had their dogs vaccinated against rabies shall be liable to pay the vaccination of both their dogs and the individual bitten by their dogs.
The ordinance shall also prohibit dog owners from letting their dogs loose in any place outside the premises of the owner. A dog found outside the owner’s premises shall be on a leash or any other device which controls the dog or held by a person which controls the dog, otherwise, it shall be considered as a stray dog and shall be seized by the CVAO personnel, Public Order and Safety Division personnel, barangay officials and their agents, police officers, and other agents/private individuals as may be assigned.
An impounded dog shall be released to its owner upon paying P500.00 for each incident.
Moreover, the owner shall not tie the dog nor put it in any animal cage outside the owner’s private property.
According to the ordinance, a driver who accidentally runs over a dog in any public street, including subdivision roads shall not be held liable for any damage caused to the dog. The ordinance states that it is the responsibility of the owner to keep their dog away from danger by keeping the dog within their private property.
The ordinance also prescribes a fine of P5,000.00 per act or imprisonment for one to four years to any person found guilty of being involved in dog meat trade.
Under the ordinance, a dog may be declared a nuisance by the barangay council when it is outside the owner’s premises in the absence of the owner, has bitten a person, or is causing/has caused damage or threats to passersby.
A dog may also be declared a nuisance when, on not less than three occasions, it has defecated outside the owner’s premises and the owner has not done anything to clean up the spot.
The owner shall be given due process in which the owner has to prove his dog is not a nuisance.
Once the claim is proven, the owner shall be ordered to remove the dog from the barangay within three days or surrender it to the city dog pound. Upon failure of the owner to remove the dog from the barangay, the complainants may file the case in the regular courts for violation of the ordinance.
The owner of a dog that has bitten a person outside the owner’s premises shall pay all medical expenses and other damages incurred by the victim.
Owners who refuse to have their dog that has bitten a person put under observation shall be fined P10,000 (Section 11 of RA 9482).
Moreover, owners who refuse to pay all medical expenses of the victim and refuse to put his dog under observation shall be fined P25,000 (Section 11 of RA 9482).
All impounded dogs seized by authorized personnel shall be delivered to the city’s animal pound for safe keeping.
The impounding fee shall be P500/dog. The maintenance fee shall be P50/day. The adoption fee shall be P650.00.
No dogs shall be released from the pound unless registered and vaccinated.
The CVAO shall dispose of unclaimed dogs within three working days (RA 9482). Dog disposal shall be through adoption, donation to schools or laboratories for scientific studies, public auction, or euthanasia in the order they are enumerated.
The ordinance emphasizes that the CVAO shall encourage adoption of impounded dogs by qualified persons as the best option. The widest dissemination for dogs available for adoption shall be utilized, with the assistance of social welfare NGOs, if feasible.
Under the ordinance, all dog breeders shall secure a business permit which shall only be granted upon certification of the CVAO in coordination with the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).
All dog breeders shall take the necessary measures to ensure that the dogs do not disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. Otherwise, the dogs may be considered a nuisance.
For registration purposes, a breeder shall be defined as any person or entity that keeps, maintains, or owns five or more breeding dogs for financial gain.
All kennels owners shall secure a sanitary permit from the City Health Services Office and an annual registration certificate at the CVAO and BAI. Kennel registration shall be P1,000.00 per year.
For registration purposes, a kennel shall be defined as any facility, shed, barn, building, trailer, or any other structure intended to house domestic dogs for breeding, maintaining, keeping and/or training with a population of 20 dogs or more.
Dog breeders and kennel operators who fail to secure permits required by the ordinance shall be fined P5,000.00 and shall be subject to closure of business.
The ordinance stipulates that it shall be unlawful for any person to bring into the city any dog without previously subjecting it to anti-rabies vaccination not more than one year but not less than 14 days at the time of shipment. However, for annual booster shots, the dogs may be shipped immediately upon vaccination. Only animals aged 3.5-5 months shall be allowed for shipment.
In line with Section 10 of Republic Act No. 9482 (Anti-Rabies Act of 2007), the CVAO shall undertake measures to control the dog population and minimize the number of unwanted stray dogs.
Such measures shall include undertaking educational and promotional campaigns on responsible pet ownership, on their spaying and neutering programs, and on the discounts granted by the office on registration fees. Dog spaying shall cost P1,500.00 while dog castration shall cost P1,000.00.
The ordinance has been forwarded to the City Mayor’s Office for approval.
The CVAO, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, shall craft the Implementing Rules and Regulations within 30 days from the approval of the ordinance.** Jordan G. Habbiling