DISTRACTION. What better way to soothe a nervous child than a friendly dog roaming around the North Fairview Elementary School vaccination site in Quezon City on Thursday (March 10, 2022). The city government deploys the trained dogs to calm children lining up for Covid-19 vaccines. (Photo courtesy of QC Government Facebook)

MANILA – Service dogs are helping calm anxious children at vaccination sites in Quezon City.

Upon seeing Chichi and Coffee, the children’s faces lit up and giggles were heard all around the North Fairview Elementary School where the rescued local dogs of the Quezon City Veterinary Department were deployed on Thursday.

Parents and guardians were assured both have been examined, groomed, vaccinated, and trained for two months to become emotional support dogs.

The city has also trained 14 others as community service dogs or bomb and drug-sniffers of the Quezon City Police District.

Matapos ang ilang buwan na training, ang mga dating asong pagala-gala sa mga kalye na sinagip ng Quezon City Veterinary Department, kaagapay na ng Quezon City government sa vaccination program para sa QCitizen kids (After months of training, dogs that were previously roaming the streets and rescued by the Quezon City Veterinary Department are now helping the Quezon City government in the children’s vaccination),” the QC government said in a statement on Friday.

Other rescued dogs are being trained to accompany residents in institutions for the aged, rehabilitation centers, and temporary shelters.

The QC Veterinary Department also has an ongoing anti-rabies drive, with vaccines already administered to some 500 dogs and cats while 129 have been spayed and neutered, 400 were inserted with microchips, and 200 have availed of free consultation and deworming.

Interactive pet education workshops were provided by the Animal Kingdom Foundation while sponsors gave free treats and vitamins. (PNA)