By Felicia Imohimi
In commemoration of the World Rabies Day, Paws Connect, a non-governmental organisation has urged dog owners to train their dogs with humans and other dogs.
Mr Victor Mowah, member of the group made the call at `Dog Awareness Walk’ as part of activities to commemorate World Rabies Day (WRD) on Saturday in Abuja.
Mowah, the convener of the walk, said that such socialisation would prevent dogs from getting scared when they come in contact with humans and other dogs.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Rabies Day (WRD) commemorated on Sept. 28 is a global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention.
The theme for 2019 was “Rabies, vaccinate to eliminate”.
WRD created and coordinated annually by Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) focused on rabies endemic countries as well as to increase awareness of the disease and its prevention.
Mowah who frowned at the negative reactions of some dogs while in the midst of humans and other dogs, blamed it on failure of their owners to take them out for socialisation.
The convener who described dog socialisation as key; advised that such socialisation should begin as early as possible.
“We advise people to come and socialise your dog, don’t lock your dogs at home, let your dog come out and meet with people and other dogs.
“Such socialisation have to commence as early as 16 weeks, start training your dogs so that they don’ t get scared of other dogs and human beings.
“Most people buy dogs and keep them in their houses for only security reasons, they don’t take the dog out but we know that humans are social animals so also are dogs.
“We notice there are times when people or other dogs are close to some dogs their tails is always between their legs, is not good, you have to socialise your dogs”,. he said.
Mowah further identified dog vaccination as key to rabies elimination by 2030.
The convener who identified Paws Connect as dog owners, lovers and breeders, among others, emphasised that “they are advocates for healthy dogs” and frowned at dog eating and killing.
According to him, the awareness walk was to intimate people about rabies and the best way to prevent rabies is to vaccinate dogs just in case of dog bite, the victim will not contact rabies.
“We are celebrating the day to let the world know more about rabies and its prevention.
“Prevention they say is better than cure, so, vaccinate your dog so that in the event of dog bite it won’t affect human beings.
“We plan to further step up this programme to reach out to the suburbs where people cannot actually afford this vaccines, but today we are giving out free rabies vaccination to dogs that are not vaccinated”, he said.
NAN reports that the high-point of the event was free anti rabies vaccines to dogs.