By John Rey Saavedra

PROTECTED. The city government of Cebu urges pet owners to have their dogs and cats vaccinated to protect them from rabies. The City Veterinary Office said Thursday (June 6, 2024) that it recorded an alarming number of rabies cases. (PNA file photo)

CEBU CITY – The city government here recorded an “alarming” number of rabies cases in 2023, a city veterinarian said on Thursday.

Dr. Alice Utlang, head of the City Veterinary Office (CVO), urged pet owners to have their dogs and cats vaccinated to help the city manage the alarming increase in cases.

The city recorded 17 rabies cases in 2023 and 14 cases as of June 5, 2024.

The number of cases is already alarming considering it is still barely six months to December.

Most of these cases stemmed from bites by house dogs or dogs under human care.

“I would say it’s alarming. That’s why we are really asking dog owners to have their dogs vaccinated. They should contact their barangay because each barangay has a trained vaccinator,” Utlang said.

Utlang identified 11 barangays in Cebu City where 10 of these have a single case of dog rabies. Barangay Lagun, on the other hand, recorded four cases.

Villages that have one case each are Mabolo, Basak San Nicolas, Tisa, Cogon Pardo, Bulacao, Carreta, Tinago, Barrio Luz, Ermita, and Zapatera.

Vaccinated dogs are considered the “first line of defense”. (PNA)