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Press Release - Poe: Don't leave animal pounds unattended during Holy Week exodus

Sen. Grace Poe reminded local government units (LGUs) to ensure that animal pounds are not left unattended during the Holy Week break.

A personnel should be at least on duty to look after the shelters and feed the animals, she said.

"Nabalitaan kamakailan ang mga pusang kumakain ng kapwa nila patay na pusa sa isang city pound. Kung naaalagaan sila nang maayos, hindi ito dapat nangyayari at hindi na dapat maulit," Poe said.

"Kahit na Holy Week break, obligasyon ng mga city pound na bantayan, pakainin at alagaan pa rin ang mga hayop na nasa kanilang pangangalaga," she added.

Poe said households have also the same responsibility to see to it that their pets are left to the care of someone if they are leaving for the Lenten season.

If the pets would be left alone, they should have sufficient food and water, and space to roam freely, until their owner comes back.

Poe is pushing for the passage of her Senate Bill No. 2458 which seeks a revised Animal Welfare Act to strengthen animal welfare standards, policies, rules and regulations, implementation and enforcement as well as provide tougher penalties to violators.

A key provision of the bill is the creation of a Barangay Animal Welfare Task Force to capacitate local officers in immediately addressing animal welfare issues.

Poe said city pounds are government-funded facilities, and thus, have the responsibility to take good care of the animals, mostly cats and dogs, that are impounded for a certain period.

"Iyong mga aso at pusang hinuli at ikinulong, hindi dapat ginugutom. Dapat nasa maayos silang kundisyon kung sakaling kunin na sila ng may-ari, o kung may gustong mag-ampon sa kanila," she said.

The senator expressed hope her bill would gather support from lawmakers for its immediate passage into law.

She also welcomed the commitment of Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri to make it a priority measure.

"For the Holy Week, we hope everyone can include in their reflection the act of being kind and compassionate not only to their fellow humans, but to animals as well," Poe said.