by Benice Angelique Battreal
In line with the celebration of Rabies Awareness Month, the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist held a free spay and castration program last March 20 at the covered court located at the back of the municipal hall. The event was organized in partnership with volunteers from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
Spaying means surgically removing the ovaries of female cats or dogs while neutering or castration is the term for surgically detaching the testes of male cats or dogs. The procedures are done by a registered veterinarian, assisted by volunteers. Pets that would undergo the operation are under general anesthesia thus should fast for at least eight hours before the surgery to prevent throwing up that may lead to drowning in the animal’s own vomit.
According to Sharon Yap, the Education Officer of PAWS, they were contacted by the Los Baños mayor’s office and the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist to participate in the parade opening the celebration of the Rabies Awareness Month and to conduct the procedures for a free spay and castration for dogs and cats. All funds were provided by the Mayor’s office and department of agriculture.
The Free Spay and Castration is open to all. Traditionally at centers, an owner can have up to two pets for spaying or neutering but since the number of people who pre-registered is small, they are accepting walk-ins until their supplies last which is for about 60 pets. Dogs from the city pound were brought and were castrated as well.
Surgery usually lasts for 10-15 minutes but the post-operation procedures are what lengthens the process. After the operation, animals are brought to an area where post-operation volunteers check on the animals and wait for them to wake up before returning to their owners. As for the after-care, owners are provided health kits that contain antibiotics, vitamins and cleaning materials to prevent infection on the wound.
The whole program was launched to tackle overpopulation in dogs and cats and reduce the number of stray animals following PAWS’s primary mission.
Interested individuals for volunteering should fill up an application form that is downloadable from the PAWS’s official website. They should also attend a volunteer orientation held quarterly. The next orientation would be on May 5. For interested owners who missed the event, they may go to animal shelters to avail of neutering and spaying for PhP 700 for male cats, PhP 1000 for female cats and male dogs, and PhP 1500 for female dogs.