DILG clearing ops leave dozens of dogs, cats homeless in Bacolod

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 22) — Dozens of cats and dogs have been left homeless after their owners have been driven out of their homes, which were demolished in line with the government’s ongoing clearing operations.

Tina Montinola-Monfort of animal welfare group PAWSsion Project and Community Animal Rescue Efforts said families cannot bring their pets with them.

Montinola-Monfort said they have rescued and fostered at least 20 puppies and 15 cats — and they are expecting to rescue even more next week.

“The downside to taking out all the illegal structures, especially in the Shopping Area, is that these families have dogs, and cats, puppies and kittens,” she said.

In the Shopping Area alone, PAWSsion Project estimates that around 50 adult dogs will become homeless because of the clearing operations.

The group is set to hold a dialogue with the families affected by the clearing operations to ask them if they are willing to take back their pets. Should they agree, they will be given leashes and other needs for their pets.

Montinola-Monfort said they will also work to take adult dogs who have been abandoned to shelters or have them adopted by new families.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government gave all mayors an order to clear roads of obstructions until September or they will face suspension. This stemmed from President Rodrigo Duterte’s call during his fourth State of the Nation Address to reclaim public roads to ease traffic congestion.

These clearing operations have also hit the livelihood of street vendors, who were asked to leave their spots or had their stalls dismantled.

Bacolod City-based journalist Shiela Galera contributed to this story.