Marikina Shelters Pets During Typhoons

PIO Department


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Text and Photo: Famela Dahonog

In Marikina City, humans are not the only ones who are taken cared of during typhoons. Even pets such as dogs are given shelter at evacuation centers.

When typhoon Ompong, the strongest to hit the Philippines this year, struck the City of Marikina middle of this month, around 50 dogs were evacuated in the high risk areas of Barangays Tañong, H. Bautista, Malanday, Nangka and Concepcion, said Renante Reyes, chief of operations at the Marikina City Veterinary Office (CVO).

Ever since Ondoy devastated most of Marikina in 2009, the CVO has been active in doing information drives on how to properly take care of pets during a storm and evacuating them to a safe place. The CVO also started having crates for pets at evacuation centers.

Noon pa, noong pagkatapos ng Ondoy nag pagawa na kami nun [dog crates],” he said.

Preemptive Measures

Even before a typhoon lands in the Philippines, Marikina CVO already prepares preemptive measures for household pets as part of the disaster preparedness programs. During the first alarm, collapsible dog crates are being set up strategically at the evacuation centers in Marikina. Assigned camp managers would inform pet owners that crates are now ready for boarding. Each collapsible dog crates can house a maximum of four dogs. Prior sheltering the dogs, a form will be given to the pet owner by the camp managers to fill out.

Pet owners are responsible to attend to their dog’s needs, although the CVO instructs all camp managers to cook additional food or delegate excess food from the ration meals to cater to the dogs.

Pet owners can also temporarily put their pets at the CVO Impounding Area if designated dog crates are all occupied.

Understandably, pet owners were at first reluctant to bring their pets at evacuation centers or leave them at the city pound.

Yung iba dati natatakot kasi akala nila hindi na ibabalik ang kanilang mga alagang aso,” Reyes said when asked about the initial reaction of the community towards the evacuation of their pets. Later on, he said residents understood the steps of the local government to ensure the safety of not only the people but also their four-legged friends. Setting up these dog crates will avoid posing danger and risk spreading diseases among dogs and their owners at evacuation centers.

Cats and Other Pets

The CVO also accepts cats and other animals. Though rescuing cats and bringing them in evacuation centers are not that easy.

Mahirap kapag pusa kasi maliit, minsan nakakawala pero ginagawan namin ng paraan,” Reyes said.

The CVO is better-trained in handling dogs. Nonetheless, they are also thinking of other ways to guarantee the safety of cats and other animals.

The local government of Marikina headed by Mayor Marcy Teodoro is all about keeping pets safe and protected during calamities. Mayor Marcy procured additional collapsible dog crates with upgraded quality, lightweight and made of stainless steel so it will be convenient to transport and would last longer.

Marikina City Veterinary Office

Telephone: (02) 475-4719

Address: Gil Fernando St. Cor. Aquilina, Sto. Niño, Marikina City

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