Boracay Island

Boracay rounds up stray dogs ahead of Holy Week tourist rush

Jun Aguirre

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Boracay rounds up stray dogs ahead of Holy Week tourist rush

DOG POUND. Dogs impounded by the dog catchers in Boracay.

Animal Lovers of Boracay

A group of pet advocates in Boracay are urging tourists and residents to adopt stray dogs and cats, as island authorities resort to 'mercy killing'

AKLAN, Philippines – Boracay Island authorities conducted a series of dog impoundments in anticipation of the influx of tourists this Holy Week.

Malay Mayor Frolibar Bautista told Rappler that the Malay Agriculture Office ensured the local ordinance was strictly implemented to ensure environmental sustainability.

According to the reports of the Department of Health, at least four Aklan residents died of rabies in 2022.

The Malay Council Ordinance No. 92 states that “no animal is allowed to roam freely in the beaches and other public places in Boracay and if found roaming, the stray animals should be caught, impounded or disposed of by the authorized agents, or the barangay.”

Livino Duran, the regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Western Visayas earlier said that they now are empowering the local government of Malay to ensure environmental sustainability of this resort island.

“On April 2, we will be meeting with the local government and the stakeholders in Boracay about the environmental challenges faced by this resort island. We want the LGU to take the lead in environmental conservation to align themselves with the promotion of Boracay as a premier tourism destination,” he added.

Aside from threats of rabies, stray dogs also tend to litter at the beach and at times scatter plastics left behind by some irresponsible tourists.

A group of pet advocates earlier urged tourists to adopt stray dogs or cats.

Once a dog or cat is impounded, owners are given a certain number of days to claim their pets and will be required to pay a penalty of P2,500 each. If not claimed, animals will be killed.

In an interview with the group Animal Lovers of Boracay, they said they rescued eight dogs last February. They conducted crowd funding on social media to help raise funds to pay for the penalty. After the payment, they were returned to their owners.

According to the reports of the Malay Agriculture Office, several cats and dogs have already been subjected to “mercy killing” since 2018 after they were not claimed by their pet owners at a given time.

Last March 17, the said group organized a pet show to generate funds for the stray dogs in Boracay.

“Fortunately, the Municipal Agriculture Office has allowed us to take photos of the newly impounded dogs and post it online for the awareness of those who wanted to adopt them,” the group said. –

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