IWCT has entered into a partnership with a Philippine Dog Pound in Angeles. Dog Pounds in the Philippines are poorly funded and consequently many fall into disrepair. In forming this working relationship, IWCT hopes to reduce the number of dogs being rounded up and needlessly put to sleep, and also to help improve facilities within the pound.
In February, we visited Angeles Dog Pound, north of Manila, run by City Vet Dr Mario. These dog pounds are often very bleak, miserable places, with an obvious lack of funding and energy surrounding them. Many are also resistant to any help from animal welfare groups like IWCT. With this is mind, we felt it appropriate to set an example and create a gold standard for others to follow. Upon our arrival at Angeles dog pound, there was a warmth and enthusiasm from Dr Mario and his team. It was immediately apparent that, despite limited resources and money, Dr Mario was dedicated to making things better within his pound and he was keen to discuss working with IWCT to achieve that goal.
Unlike in some pounds in the Philippines, Dr Mario already runs a very ethical operation. Firstly the dog catchers only round up dogs without collars, those dogs are then brought to the well built and maintained, external pens at the pound, and their owners have a 2 week period within which to claim them, in exchange for a penalty fine.
Currently this pound takes in about 250 dogs a year, of which only 40% are reclaimed by their owners and of the remaining 60% a small number are adopted.
Within the pound, there is a small veterinary facility but with limited funds, only minor veterinary treatment is on offer, something Dr Mario is desperate to change.
There are two vital areas of help that IWCT can offer Dr Mario and the Angeles Pound. The first is to send our mobile clinic team into the pound on a regular basis, inviting local people to bring their dogs for FREE neutering, vaccination and treatment, ensuring that fewer unwanted puppies are being born in the area.
We would also of course neuter and treat any dogs currently residing in the pound.
These clinics will also provide vital veterinary training for Dr Mario, who like many Pound Vets, has not had the veterinary surgery practice to enable him to run surgeries like this himself.
We are delighted to report that on 27th March, we held our first clinic at the Angeles Pound and it was a huge success, with our veterinary team being able to neuter 43 dogs and vaccinate over 50.
If funds allow we hope to run a regular monthly clinic at Angeles with the ultimate aim of Dr Mario and his team being able to run these clinics on their own, allowing us to work with other pounds in need of our help and to similarly raise their welfare and re-homing standards.
The second thing we want to do is improve the pound’s adoption programme, ensuring that as many of the unclaimed dogs are able to be re-homed, rather than put to sleep and we are in discussions with Dr Mario about our Adoption Manager working directly with his pound to set up an official re-homing programme.