Dasmariñas Village Association Incorporated (DVA) issued a statement on Tuesday, October 6, that they do not accept abandonment of animals in any way after athlete and broadcast journalist Gretchen Malalad accused them of animal cruelty.

Malalad posted a series of now-turned viral Facebook posts on October 2 and 3, accusing DVA of animal cruelty for banning people from feeding the stray cats.

Malalad said she and fellow residents regularly feed the stray cats at a vacant lot, but a sign was recently installed there warning people that they would be assessed P5,000 fines if caught giving food to strays.

“There are a lot of cat haters in this village. They should go after residents who throw away cats like a piece of trash. This is animal cruelty and against RA 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act. I just received a ticket from the village fining me for being compassionate to animals and violating an alleged rule that I have yet to see in writing,” Malalad said in her Facebook post.

She went to the vacant lot again with members of Compassionate and Responsibility for Animals Welfare (CARA) Philippines on October 3, noting that the sign was still there and that the security guards were taking photos of them feeding the animals.

“The imposition of a penalty is not an act of cruelty but an attempt to discourage people from leaving cat food in the Senior’s Park, nearby vacant lots and sidewalks. This is in turn becomes a health risk as it attracts stray cats from other areas, increases the possibility of the spread of feline borne diseases, attracts vermin looking for scrap food plus of course, the cat waste left behind,” DVA stated in its official circular.

DVA also debunked claims that they were planning to “round up all the cats and kill them.”

The association said it has been partnering with CARA since 2011 and had over 1,000 stray cats receive treatment through the organization’s Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release (TNVS) program.

DVA plans to manage the cat population in its village with the help of the animal welfare organization to avoid impounding the stray cats. But the association said they are wary about the situation as the Makati City Veterinary Services may soon be involved and start impounding the cats after Malalad’s series of posts.

DVA is now urging the residents to adopt the stray cats so they would not be impounded.

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