One hundred seventy one dogs in Brgy. Batong Malake and nearby barangays benefitted from the 2013 Free Anti-Rabies Vaccination Drive organized by the barangay council together with the UPLB Venerable Knight Veterinarians (UPLB-VKV) and UPLB Venerable Lady Veterinarians (UPLB-VLV).
Brgy. Councilor and committee head on health, Ian Kalaw, said the activity is part of their initiatives to make their barangay rabies-free. He said the number of rabies cases is still high. This year, an estimate of 12 persons was reported to be affected by rabies.
Councilor Kalaw said that they conduct public addresses to inform their constituents to look after their dogs and participate in activities like the anti-rabies vaccination. They encourage the dog owners to be responsible because they could be jailed when their dogs attack someone.
The activity started at 7 a.m. at the barangay hall compound. It was facilitated by the members of UPLB-VKV and UPLB-VLV, student-volunteers, members of the college faculty, and some licensed veterinarians.
At the same time, some members of the organization and barangay council conducted home visits to residents who cannot bring their dogs at the barangay hall.
According to VKV activity head Denhiel Tallada, it is their organization’s way of reaching out to the community and to disseminate the importance of having dogs vaccinated yearly.
Kenneth Pendon, one of the residents of Batong Malake had his dog, Blue, vaccinated. He said he is aware of the fatal consequences that may happen if his dog bites someone. However, it was his first time to participate in such activity.
Zarah Rosuello, a sophomore veterinary medicine student who volunteered in the activity, said the dogs will normally have fever after the vaccination. Ruth Ann Dunwan, a UPLB-VLV member, reminded the dog owners that the vaccinated dogs must not be bathed and should not be exposed to the sun for a week because it will cause stress to the dogs.
On July 20, the same activity will be conducted at the forestry area of Batong Malake. The Annual Anti-Rabies Vaccination Drive has been conducted for over 20 years already. ( Gumamela Celes Bejarin and Kathleen Mae Idnani)