Residents urged to be responsible pet owners

City Mayor and Zamboanga City Rabies Control and Eradication Coordinating Council (ZCRCECC) Chairperson John Dalipe yesterday urged all Zamboanguenos to actively participate and contribute to the awareness and eradication of rabies in Zamboanga.

This as the city, through the Office of the City Veterinarian (OCVet) in partnership with ZCRCECC, formally launched the local observance of Rabies Awareness Month (RAM) that also promotes responsible pet ownership of domesticated rabies-carrying animals such as cats and dogs.

“This month is not just a celebration but a call to action, an opportunity for every citizen of Zamboanga City to actively engage in the noble pursuit of eradicating this preventable yet fatal disease from our midst,” the local chief executive said in his message as read by Councilor Jerome Santos.

According to Dalipe, rabies awareness is not just a campaign but a shared responsibility that transcends individual efforts and requires the collective strength of our community to make a substantial impact.

“There is still much work to be done…Let us use this month as a platform to disseminate information, educate one another, and encourage responsible pet ownership. By doing so, we not only protect our beloved pets but also create a safer and healthier environment for all residents,” the city mayor urged.

Executive Order No. 94, series of 1999 declared the whole month of March of every year as Rabies Awareness Month in Zamboanga City, in compliance with Republic Act No. 9482, otherwise known as the “Anti-Rabies Act of 2007,” providing the control and elimination of human and animal rabies through education and vaccination.

This year’s celebration is bannered by the theme, “Rabies-free na pusa’t aso, kaligtasan ng pamilyang Pilipino,” emphasizing the importance of vaccinating cats and dogs to protecting the human population from rabies infection. (Claudine Uniana)