Photo: UP-MMDA-Vanguard K9 Facebook page

(Press release from UPMV K9 Volunteer Corps) The UPMV K9 SAR Corps recently joined the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in a bid to improve the appreciation and care of dogs in local communities, especially those involved in search and rescue (SAR) efforts, through a one-day seminar on canine first aid.

Held at the MMDA headquarters in Napindan, Taguig City, last May 31, several disaster response groups, including the MMDA’s own K9 SAR Unit and other K9 SAR volunteers, attended the event. Veterinary professionals covered a wide range of topics, including CPR for dogs and emergency first aid for wounds, heatstroke, poisoning, and other scenarios.

Caring for canines

MMDA K9 Unit Head Franco Jornacion underscored the invaluable communal role of dogs in SAR operations, especially in preparation for the potential “Big One” earthquake that could hit Metro Manila at any time.

“The conduct of this type of training is very timely especially for us as citizens of Metro Manila who are preparing for the Big One. It is a good reminder to take care of our animal companions, including our working dogs,” Jornacion said. “Our K9s are very essential and reliable companions to ensure efficiency in carrying out our mission of Search and Rescue in times of disaster.”

“As we save the injured victims in collapsed structures, it is also imperative to be mindful of the safety and protection of our K-9 partners as they aid us in accomplishing this life-saving work,” he added.

Future K9 first aid seminars for the public

UMPV K9 President Elah Tendero thanked Jornacion and the MMDA for their help and support in promoting community-based SAR as well as canine first aid. “We are grateful to the MMDA for spearheading this effort, which enables SAR K9 handlers and home pet owners alike to better care for our dogs. These invaluable new skills help ensure that our beloved fur companions are happy, healthy, and ready to serve our communities,” Tendero said.

Future improved versions of the MMDA K9 First Aid Seminar are expected to be held so that more of the general public can benefit from the training. Meanwhile, both the UPMV K9 SAR Corps and the MMDA K9 Unit continue to regularly provide free SAR training to interested members of the public.—MF

Established in 2017, the UPMV K9 SAR Corps is a non-profit partnership between the University of the Philippines, the Metro Manila Development Authority, and the UP Vanguard Inc. To date, there are already close to a hundred volunteers and K9s in the program, with Batch 11 already in training. To learn more about free dog training with the UPMV K9 SAR Corps, like, follow, and message https://fb.com/upmmdavanguardk9 or email upmmdavanguardk9@gmail.com. For updates on future K9 first aid seminars, you may email officialmmdak9@gmail.com.

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