FINDING HOMES. The Quezon City government will rehabilitate and train impounded animals, like the stray dogs in this undated photo, before they are put up for adoption. The City Pound in Barangay Payatas is now an welfare and pet adoption center, according to the local government on Monday (Nov. 8, 2021). (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Instead of putting animals down through euthanasia, the Quezon City government will now rehabilitate, train, and put impounded and neglected dogs and cats up for adoption.

The local government unit (LGU) has transformed its City Pound into an adoption center through the Animal Welfare and Rehabilitation Program.

The 450-square meter QC Animal Care & Adoption Center in Barangay Payatas will be the temporary home of up to 60 animals until they find new families.

“We will be transforming our existing City Pound into an adoption center to promote animal adoption. The city believes that every animal deserves a loving and caring family since dogs and cats are known to be good companion animals,” QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement issued on Monday.

City veterinarian Dr. Ana Marie Cabel said the animals will be rehabilitated first before they are offered for adoption.

Animal welfare advocates will work with the local government to ensure that the program is in harmony with Republic Act 8485, or the Animal Welfare Act.

“Captured dogs and cats not claimed by their owners for at least three days will be up for adoption. With the help of the City Council, we are currently creating the homing and adoption policy for them,” Cabel said, as quoted by an LGU statement.

Pet-friendly spaces in facilities like parks, malls, restaurants, offices, coffee shops, hotels, and condominiums will also be built to allow pets to enter their establishments.

Data from the City Veterinary Department showed that its city pound captures an average of 200 per week, or equivalent to about 9,600 homeless animals yearly.

However, the pet adoption rate is at less than one percent.

The facility also has a surgery room for dogs and cats that need to be neutered and spayed, as well as for others that need immediate medical attention.

The sick ones will be placed in separate cages to prevent them from infecting the healthy animals.

Quezon City Animal Care & Adoption Center (Photo courtesy of QC Government Facebook)

Netizens approved of the city’s initiative, saying more people have started taking in pets during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, making staying at home more bearable for families, especially children.

Tama po ang initiative ninyo. Madami na ngayong nakaka-intindi sa mga aso at pusa na di lang sila bantay o tagahuli ng daga. Part of the family na sila (This is a good initiative. People nowadays understand that dogs and cats are not only for guarding the house or catching mice. They are part of the family),” Jerry Faciol said in his post.

Paulene Ann Niangar Antolihao noted the need for pet spaying or neutering to control their population.

Maganda po ito. Instead of euthanasia, mas maganda din po na sana magkaroon ng program na makapon sila bago ma ipa-adopt. In that way ma-control po ang mga unwanted kittens and puppies kasi kawawa din naman sila. Itapon lang din kung saan saan at magiging paulit ulit lang din ang mangyayari (This is better instead of euthanasia, but they should also be spayed or neutered before they are adopted to control unwanted kittens and puppies that will be thrown away afterwards and this will just be a cycle),” she posted. (PNA)