Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte announced on Monday that the city government is currently fast-tracking the establishment of a new City Pound to provide better temporary shelter services for stray animals.

The 450-square meter new city pound is being constructed at Empire View Subdivision in Barangay Payatas, and the project is expected to be finished in the first quarter of 2021.

It has its own surgery room for neutering dogs and cats, and for other animals needing immediate medical attention. There are also separate cages for sick animals to prevent the spread of infection.

Compared to the temporary shelter for animals situated in the same barangay where a number of stray animals are placed in a single room, the new city pound will have individual cages.

“Gusto nating magkaroon ng mas maayos na temporary shelter ang stray animals na mahuhuli sa ating mga lansangan. Sa bagong city pound, may partition ang cages para nakahi-hiwalay ang mga hayop,” Mayor Belmonte said.

Aside from these, the two-storey city pound will also house the QC Veterinary Department – City Pound Division Office and a cashier to facilitate faster payment of fee for adoption or claiming impounded animals.

Mayor Belmonte also expressed willingness to partner with animal welfare groups to manage and improve the handling of impounded animals. The mayor is currently in talks with the group PAWSSION Project headed by Malou Perez.

“It is very important that we handle our captured stray animals well. That’s why the city is open to partnerships with animal welfare groups to ensure that the city is providing what the animal welfare act prescribes,” Mayor Belmonte explained.

“We would gladly accept any assistance from our NGOs especially in training our personnel on proper handling of impounded animals para hindi natin sila mapabayaan hanggang sa i-claim na sila ng kanilang owner,” she added.

According to City Veterinary Department – City Pound Division chief Dr. Esmeralda Encarnado, the city captures up to 200 animals weekly.

They are impounded for three days until claimed by their owners. For the succeeding days, they will be up for adoption, or if still left unclaimed – euthanized in accordance with internationally-accepted standards and local regulations.

“Hindi natin pinapabayaan na magpakalat-kalat ang mga hayop sa ating mga lansangan kaya kailangan natin silang pansamantalang i-house sa ating city pound. Kapag patuloy silang nagpagala-gala, maaaring magkalat sila ng sakit tulad ng rabies na ayaw naman nating mangyari,” Encarnado stated.

The city strictly performs its impounding services pursuant to Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act, Republic Act 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act, and SP-2505 series of 2016 or the Quezon City Veterinary Code.