A report out of the Phillipines says a city dog pound that experimented with drowning dogs to euthanize them has returned to its practice of exterminating them by gas — specifically, by using auto exhaust pumped into a shed.
The Manila-based Animal Welfare Coalition (AWC) has assailed the local City Pound Office (CPO) of Cagayan De Oro City for drowning impounded strays in buckets of water.
Dr. Perla Asis, city veterinarian, confirmed they have experimented on various ways of killing unclaimed animals since 1996 but said they only used drowning once, according to a news report.
Joey Nacalaban, a photojournalist for a local newspaper, said he witnessed the drowning of at least 10 dogs at the city landfill in August and took pictures of the procedure.
“The dogs died in about five minutes (after immersion of their heads in water). The drowning was done in public,” he said.
“The City Pound Officer has committed a crime. He should go to jail,” said Ramona Eliza Consunji, AWC external affairs officer.
The City Veterinarian said intracranial injection have also been used, but those were stopped after a staffer lost a finger to a dog bit.
Instead, the CPO, in a bid to stem the spread of rabies, has opted to use gas poisoning to exterminate unclaimed animals, creating an improvised gas chamber fashioned out of wood. An average of 25 to 35 dogs are gassed on Thursdays using motor vehicle exhaust in a process that lasts up to about 40 minutes, she said.
Consunji said that if the city government wants to minimize the number of stray dogs, it should conduct a campaign to educate people on responsible pet ownership.