By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — Mayor Jerry Treñas will not allow the plan of the Iloilo City Veterinary Office to conduct euthanasia or mercy killing of stray dogs following a backlash on the purported plan on social media.
“This has not yet been approved by my office,” said Treñas in a publicly released video.
News broke out late last week that Dr. Tomas Forteza, city veterinarian, had announced that stray dogs impounded will undergo euthanasia.
This led residents, led by Mikaela Chavez, to campaign on social networking site Facebook urging the Iloilo City government to change its policy. Team Aspin of Iloilo-Tail wrote an open letter to the mayor.
“The stray dogs, who cannot speak for themselves, are suffering everyday on the streets either by hunger, maltreatment, or abuse. These dogs deserve better lives,” said Chavez in an online petition via change.org.
Forteza said they rounded up stray dogs after another office complained how dogs were destroying the ornamental plants of the Esplanade, the city’s river park.
“Dogs are not destructive, humans are. Dogs are sentient beings, and given a chance, have proven countless times to be man’s best friend,” Team Aspin of Iloilo-Tail said in a letter to Treñas.
Forteza earlier claimed the city government does not have enough space to keep the dogs, no budget to feed them.
“And we can’t just let anybody adopt the dogs because many people who come to adopt want cute-looking dogs. These are not cute-looking dogs. Also, some of them will just give up the dogs only a week after adopting,” Forteza told the Manila Bulletin.
Treñas is working with the private sector and some restaurants which have pledged to give food scraps to feed the stray dogs.