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Grace period

THE CITY Health Office (CHO) gave the Happy Animals Club (HAC) a two-month grace period to resolve the odor and nuisance complaints before lifting the closure order. 

The recommendation was issued during a dialogue with the shelter’s lawyer and health officials at the CHO-Sanitary Division in CHO on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

Atty. Neil Jao, who represented HAC, pledged to comply with the recommendations of the CHO, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, and the City Veterinarian’s Office. 

The animal shelter was called to attend the dialogue following the sanitary order issued by the CHO after a re-inspection conducted last Oct. 20, The inspector reportedly confirmed that odor and nuisance existed within the premises as complained by the residents.

Meanwhile, the lawyer did not deny that barking dogs create noise and odor is present as the animals regularly defecate. But he did ask for sufficient time for the shelter to address all the issues.

However, the Business Bureau said the closure order will remain until the shelter meets all their recommendations. Otherwise, the shelter will be forced to relocate all 300 dogs and cats if it fails to comply. 

The City Veterinarian’s Office found that the shelter has a poor drainage system, so animal wastewater spills out of the concrete fence and becomes stagnant on the open canal, which causes the odor.

The city vet also recommended that the shelter secure a permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry-Animal Welfare Act for animal shelter operations.  To address the waste, they suggested making backyard biogas for proper management of manure, which will later be used as an energy source. 

During the dialogue, Cenro noted that they don’t have any problem with the shelter as long as the shelter won’t throw animal carcasses at garbage collection points. However, the agency recommends additional septic tanks for the proper disposal of manure.

Apart from the grace period, Jao further asked the city vet to assist them in ensuring they comply with all the recommendations. 

Present at the dialogue were representatives from the City Veterinarian’s Office, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office, the City Planning and Development Office, and the Business Bureau.

The CHO-Sanitation Division reported on Oct 20 that “at the time of inspection, the offensive odor was noted not only within the facility but also at the nearby properties.” The inspectors also included in their report that the noise is perceivable even 50-100 meters away with sound level meter reads from 78 to 82 dB.

Sec. 1 of Chapter XVI of City Ordinance 078 set the maximum allowable noise levels for Category A at 55 dB during daytime, 50 dB during morning and evening, and 45 dB during nighttime. The inspection was done on Oct. 20 in the afternoon.

During the inspection, owner Barry N. O’Brien was “unable to present plans for the disposal of dead animals.”

It also posed overpopulation, considering that the shelter houses approximately 150 canines and 150 felines in the 700-square meter shelter, “jeopardizing quality of air and poses occupational health hazard to the employees and volunteers,” the report read.


Photo courtesy of Happy Animals Club FB page


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