Oplan ‘Dog-hang’ which aims to get rid of dogs shows how killing is the new normal

September 13th, 2018
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Any dog lover, would know how difficult and painful it is to lose a pet. For others, dogs may just be like any other animals; but for their furparents, they’re part of the family who deserve much love and care. And just like with their own child, they wouldn’t want any harm for their beloved dogs so it’s baffling to see stories of dogs getting abused, maltreated, and abandoned. It’s hard to understand why such things happen to “man’s best friend”.

We’re still living in a world where people find a way out of their responsibility as pet parent through abandonment and abuse. What’s worse is that it seems like the administration’s controversial Oplan Tokhang “inspired” some local government units to implement a campaign that allegedly aims to kill dogs. This is, apparently, an answer to a barangay’s problem with stray dogs (and even pet dogs) who could potentially harm people, and to maintain cleanliness within the barangay.

“Oplan Dog-hang” was launched by Barangay Capri in Novaliches, Quezon City with a banner that reads: “Wag nang manlaban, isuko na ang alagang hayop!” Aside from Dog-hang, an obvious wordplay on “dogs” and “tokhang” (a term commonly associated with the killings of alleged drug peddlers in the country), the said barangay campaign also references the cause of deaths we hear on reports almost everyday: nanlaban.

In a Facebook post, Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) strongly condemned Barangay Capri’s Oplan Dog-hang and said that the use of tokhang “…as a way to encourage violent acts towards animals (ie. “hang”) as a means of animal control is wrong.”

PAWS condemns the Oplan “Dog” Hang launched by Barangay Capri, Novaliches QC.The use of the term "dog"-hang whether…

Posted by Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

“Using “tokhang” to refer to the killing or rounding up of animals who have not committed any crime is unfair and ignorant. Its message is also dangerous and irresponsible as the poster gives the impression that inhumane acts towards strays are acceptable,” says PAWS.

The animal organization added that the poster also encourages pet abandonment by telling the public to surrender their pet animals to the pound instead of educating them to become responsible pet owners. PAWS emphasized that the RA 9482 or the Anti Rabies Act already specifies what pet owners must do. It includes: getting their pets regularly vaccinated, keeping their dogs enclosed safely within their yard, having their dogs on a leash when going outside or under the effective control of their owner.

“If there are violations in this regard, it is the human owner that should be be penalized and not the animals.”

Animals that are taken to the pound are sadly put to death or euthanized because of the limited resources to keep these them and because of the fact that hardly any one goes to the pound to adopt these homeless pets. This is why PAWS encourages people to visit pounds and consider adopting instead of buying pets.

To prevent the unnecessary deaths of these animals and to contribute to solving the problem of strays, PAWS urges the public to have their pets spayed (for females) and neutered (for males). Neuter is the general term for the removal of an animal’s reproductive organ, either all of it or a considerably large part. Educating the public about the importance of these processes is a better way to combat problems with overpopulation of animals and strays in the streets instead of coming up with a “kill them all” idea.

“PAWS believes in due process for all human and animals. “Tokhang” is not acceptable. PAWS representatives and volunteer-lawyers regularly attend all court hearings and file criminal cases against those who have committed the most heinous crimes against helpless and innocent animals. Every individual must have their day in court.”

When are we ever going to realize that killing is never the solution to societal problems? And by killing these innocent animals who deserve to coexist with us, feel safe, loved, and protected; we’re proving that we are, indeed, the worst animals ever created on earth.

 

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