Guidelines for Animal Pounds

March 31, 2015
Department of Agriculture
Administrative Circular 03
Series of 2015


WHEREAS, Republic Act 8485 as amended by Republic Act 10631 otherwise known as the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, particularly Section 1 thereof provides for the protection and promotion of the welfare of all animals in the country by supervising and regulating the establishment and operation of all facilities utilized for breeding, maintaining, keeping, treating or training of all animals, either as objects of trade or as household pets.

WHEREAS, Section 2 of R.A. 9482 (The Anti-Rabies Act of 2007) mandates local government units to have a control over all stray animals through a local ordinance enacted for this purpose.

WHEREAS, unregistered, stray or unvaccinated dogs and other animals shall be impounded in the LGU designated pounding area and properly disposed of in any manner authorized, subject to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 8485, otherwise known as the “Animal Welfare Act of 1998”, taking into consideration the following guidelines and minimum standards for the establishment and maintenance of such facilities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PROCESO J. ALCALA, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, considering the above cited, do hereby issue this Circular to prescribe, promulgate and enforce reasonable regulations for the collection and impounding of animals, the use and operation of animal pounds.


This Circular shall apply to all cities and 1st class municipalities mandated by law for the construction, renovation, establishment, operation and maintenance of animal pounds. This also applies to any province and municipality who have an existing pound or those who deemed proper to establish and operate a pound.

The following Basic Freedoms of Animals adopted by the Committee on Animal Welfare through the Animal Welfare Division shall be observed:

  • Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition;
  • Freedom from physical discomfort and pain;
  • Freedom from injury and disease;
  • Freedom to conform to essential behavior patterns; and
  • Freedom from fear and distress.


As used in this Circular, the following words, terms and phrases shall be construed to mean:

2.1 Impounded Animal refers to any stray animal seized by an animal control officer for the purpose of keeping in an animal pound.
2.2 Primary enclosures are those animal enclosures in which the animal normally eats, defecates, urinates, rests, and sleeps.
2.3 Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are legally constituted organizations that operate independently from any form of government.
2.4 Pound refers to a public facility or enclosure intended for stray or confiscated animals to maintain temporary custody managed by local government units.
2.5 Renovate refers to the change of size, construction or composition of pens, runs, fences, floors, heating system, water supply system, waste disposal system, or any other physical component of pound building which are governed by these regulations.
2.6 Sanitary refers to the health, with special reference to cleanliness and freedom from infective and deleterious influences.
2.7 Stray animal refers to any animal which has left its owner’s place or premises and no longer under the effective control of the owner.
2.8 Proper disposal refers to the disposal of dead animals in compliance with the provisions of the implementing rules of PD 856 Code on Sanitation of the Philippines.
2.9 Euthanasia or commonly known as “mercy killing” refers to the process of inducing humane and painless death to animals


3.1 Determining Site

Site for the installation/construction of an LGU pound shall be in coordination with the City/Municipal Planning and Development Office.

3.2 Facility Design

The designs of pounds shall provide an environment conducive to maintaining animal health. Facilities shall be appropriate to species, the number of animals receiving care and the expected length of stay in order to ensure physical and psychological well-being of the animals, and shall conform with the following requirements:

3.2.1 Administrative Office

This is the control center for the pound and it shall have a direct access both to the reception area and the animal cages or enclosures.

3.2.2 Primary Enclosure/Animal Area

There shall be a separate enclosure housing for cats and dogs. Ideally, animals shall be placed in individual cages.

A primary enclosure is defined as an area of confinement such as a cage, run or pen, where an animal eats, sleeps during temporary stay. The primary enclosure shall be structurally sound and constructed in safe working condition to properly house animals, prevent injury and keep other animals out.

The interior and exterior walls of a building to be used as a pound shall be strong enough to withstand different environmental conditions; Pound holding cages or stalls, whether for single or group housing, shall provide enough space for each animal to feed, sleep, sit, stand, lie with limbs extended, stretch and move about; Animal pounds and housing shall be of sufficient height to facilitate easy cleaning. The pound kennels or cages shall be enclosed with a sturdy material preferably at least 1.20 meter tall to prevent nose to nose contact or by a 0.67 meter wire mesh by 1.0 meter minimum wire gauge, separated at least 0.1m meter away from each other to prevent contact; The pound isolation cages for medium breed dogs shall be at least 0.76m x 0.92m x 0.61m. For large breed dogs cages, it shall be at least 0.92m x 0.92m x 0.92m. For extra-large breed dogs, cages shall be at least 1.22m x 0.92m x 1.22m. Cages for cats shall be at least 0.46m x 0.61m x 0.61m. *(Length x Width x Height) The space of the cage shall allow the animal to stand up and lie down comfortably. Cage frame shall be made of stainless steel for rust free maintenance and long lasting use. Hard plastic matting shall be used as cage flooring. The size of the plastic matting shall be 1ft. x 2ft. and 1ft. x 3ft.. Cats may be housed either in banks of cages in walk-in modules that include a sleeping compartment and an exercise area, or in colonies consisting of no more than three cats in a pen.

3.3.3 Medical and Euthanasia Room

This shall be adjacent to the isolation area to allow the easy movement of animals for disposal. There shall be a separate entrance from outside and clear access for vehicles. There shall be separate ventilation for this area.

3.3.4 Surgery Room

There shall be a room specific for performing surgeries.

3.3.5 Employees’ Quarters

There shall be a quarter allocated for employees in the pound.

3.4 Humidity and Ventilation

3.4.1 The indoor portion of the pound where animals are housed shall be mechanically ventilated in such a manner as it provides fresh air to maintain health and comfort of impounded animals.

3.4.2 The pound shall be at least 3.0 meters tall from floor to ceiling.

3.4.3 For roof/ceiling, insulation material shall be used to provide comfort to animals.

3.4.4 CHB-wall footing shall be at a height of 1.20 m width wire-mesh continuous walling to top ceiling height.

3.5 Drainage System

3.5.1 The pound shall have an open drainage at a width of 0.60m and a depth of 0.50m and floors should slope towards a drain that is outside the animal living areas. A drain opening of not less than 20cm diameter is recommended and it should be covered by a strainer grid. The provision of mains sewers, a septic tank is essential and shall be built in accordance with the building code.

3.6 Water Supply

3.6.1 All pounds shall be supplied with clean drinking water and sufficient amount of water supply for the purpose of maintaining proper sanitary conditions.

3.8 Lighting

3.8.1 Appropriate electrical lighting shall be provided in all pounds including provisions for emergency lights in case of power disruption.


4.1 Impounding and Disposition of Stray Animals

Stray dogs and other animals shall be impounded in the designated pounding area of the LGU and properly disposed of, taking into consideration the following guidelines:

a. Unregistered, stray or unvaccinated dogs shall be impounded and kept in the LGU’s designated dog pound.

b. Impounded dogs not claimed after 3 days from the dog pound shall be placed for adoption to qualified persons with the assistance of animal welfare NGO, when feasible, otherwise it shall be disposed of in a manner authorized by A.O. 13 series of 2010 as amended by A.O. 9 series of 2011 (Revised Rules and Regulations on the Euthanasia of Animals).

4.1.1 Impounding Fee

Imposition of impounding fees, fines and others shall be in accordance with the prevailing local ordinance being implemented by the LGU concerned

4.1.2 Registration Fee

The amount of registration fee shall be defined and determined in a provision of any local ordinance for this purpose.

4.2 Animal Care4.2.1 Clean drinking water shall be provided for animals at all times. Adult animals shall be fed at least once per day. Animals under the age of six (6) months shall be fed at least two (2) times per day.

4.2.2 The animal shall be fed with an appropriate diet which may be composed of any of the following: fish, meat, chicken, vegetables, cereals, and others that are suitable for animal consumption.

4.2.3 Any animal which appears sick or injured shall be examined and treated by a licensed veterinarian.

4.3 Facility Maintenance

4.3.1 The pound shall be kept sanitary, cleaned and disinfected a minimum of once daily.

4.3.2 A disinfectant capable of eliminating animal viruses and bacteria without affecting the paws/skin of the animals shall be used in washing down runs, pens and interior areas of the pound.

4.3.3 Cages and pens shall be cleaned and disinfected before use by another animal.

4.3.4 Feces and other excreta shall be removed from pens, runs and troughs immediately.

4.3.5 Cleaning equipment shall be available for the proper storage or disposal of waste material to control vermin, insects and obnoxious odors.

4.4 Medicines

Drugs, medicines, and other medical supplies shall be available at all times at the animal pound such as, a.) approved euthanasia drugs, b.) rabies vaccines, c.) wound dressing, d.) antibiotic, e.) sedatives, among others.

4.5 Storage of food

The food storage area shall be clean and free from vermin and insects. Animal food in original packaging shall be stored at least 0.30 meters above the floor on clean racks, dollies or other clean surfaces, in such a manner as to protect from water and other contamination. Unsealed bags of dog food shall be stored in covered metal or covered heavy duty plastic containers at least 0.30 meters above the floor on clean racks, dollies or other clean surfaces, in such a manner as to protect from water and other contamination. Fresh food that will not be consumed within the day shall be stored with proper refrigeration.

4.6 Record Keeping

All pounds shall have a record of all impounded animals. It shall include the Date, Place of Capture, Animal Description and Impounding Notice.

4.7 Removal of dead animals

Any dead animal shall be immediately removed and disposed of within 24 hours after death and in such a manner complying with the provisions of the implementing rules of the PD 856 Code on Sanitation of the Philippines.

4.8 Isolation area

4.8.1 At least one (1) isolation area shall be provided. An isolation area shall consist of pens and cages for sick animals and for rabies suspects.

4.8.2 Quarantined Impounded animals shall be individually kept in an
isolation cage.


5.1 Impounded animals shall be transported by animal control officers/pound keepers in the following manner:

5.1.1 They shall be transported in the shortest practicable time;

5.1.2 They shall be transported in an enclosed and well ventilated pound vehicle with an adequate provision of overhead shade protection in cases where the pound vehicle is parked under the sun or in hot weather conditions;

5.1.3 They shall be transported in a structurally sound and well maintained pound vehicle which is designed and dedicated for transporting animals that shall ensure protection against injury causing matter, against extremes of temperature, against unauthorized release of animals, against human harassment as well as maltreatment in public areas.

5.2 The pound vehicle shall have non-slip floors and shall provide easy access and safety to the animals and operator as well as easy to clean and disinfect.

5.3 The pound vehicle shall be supplied with clean and secure carry baskets for cats or very small dogs with separate compartments or partitions for larger dogs and transport cages which shall allow animals to turn around but otherwise be small enough to avoid trauma during transport.

5.4 The vehicle shall have appropriate ramp to allow dogs to disembark naturally and avoid them from jumping.

5.5 Transportation of all animals shall be in accordance with the DA Administrative Order No. 19 s.2006, “Rules and Regulations on the Transport of Live Animals by Land”.


6.1 Animals shall be captured, transported and restrained in most humane manner where dragging, whipping, throwing, unnecessary lifting and pulling by the neck, ears or legs of the anima shall be prohibited.

6.2 Selection Criteria for Personnel / Catching Team

6.2.1 Matured individual/s that shall demonstrate empathy and act humanely towards dogs and animals in general;
6.2.2 Qualified individual/s that has completed training on humane handling of animals conducted by experts on the field;
6.2.3 Courteous to the public;
6.2.4 Preferably in uniform with visible personal identification; and
6.2.5 Consisted of at least 2 animal catchers and 1 driver.

6.3 Selection Criteria for Equipment

6.3.1 Pole Nets – a device that is used to capture moving animals without harming them, allows catching more than 2 dogs. Net must shall be deep enough to be twisted to fully restrain the dog.
6.3.2 Loop Pole – a device that allows restraining a dog while maintaining a safe distance.
6.3.3 Cage Trap – a device that is used for elusive dogs and cats.

6.4 Chemical Capture (Tranquilize, Anesthetize)

This is used for the capture of wild animals and vicious animals. Only licensed veterinarians or veterinary technicians who have been trained shall perform this method. Recommended method of administration is by blow pipe or syringe mounted on pole.
– Tranquilizer (Acepromazine)
– Anesthetics (Xylazine & Ketamine combination, Tiletamine)

6.5 Lifting and Carrying of Dogs

Personal safety is of primary concern. For vicious and elusive dogs, net pole or loop pole shall be used appropriately.


7.1 Identification Requirements

Ensure that all animals shall be properly immunized, registered and issued a corresponding Tag. If possible, tattoo or microchip shall also be used for identification of animals for adoption.

7.2 Documentation

All documentation of animals adopted, neutered, euthanized shall be submitted to the Animal Welfare Division – Bureau of Animal Industry by all registered shelters annually.

7.3 Adoption

Impounded animals not claimed after three days from the Pound shall be placed for adoption to qualified persons, with the assistance of an animal welfare NGO, when feasible, or otherwise disposed of in a manner authorized, subject to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 8485 as amended by R.A. 10631and its implementing rules and regulations. Animals released through adoption shall first be neutered by a licensed veterinarian. All pertinent information about the adoption shall be indicated in the adoption certificate to be provided by the animal control facility.

7.4 Euthanasia

Unclaimed impounded animals which have not been adopted shall be disposed of in a manner authorized by A.O. 13 series of 2010 as amended by A.O. 9 series of 2011 (Revised Rules and Regulations on the Euthanasia of Animals).

7.5 Public Information and Transparencies

The barangays shall be advised in writing by the LGU veterinary office of recently conducted stray animal control operation in their vicinity. Such information shall be posted on the barangay bulletin board.

The Pound shall be open to the public during office hours. All records shallbe accessible to the public as well. The pounds shall ensure that it is open 7 days a week to accommodate owners intending to claim their dogs /cats. A transition period of 1 year shall be coordinated with the local government unit for the effective implementation of this Administrative Circular.


All pounds as referred to in the definition shall be registered with the Bureau of Animal Industry as stated in Section 2 of RA 8485.


The Bureau of Animal Industry shall register all facilities or structure for the confinement of animals where they are bred, treated, maintained or kept either for sale or trade or for training purposes pursuant to the provisions of DA-AO No. 8 series of 1999, RA 8485 and R.A. 9482, where euthanasia shall also be conducted. It shall facilitate information exchange; review and monitor approved facilities and provide policy advice.

The Director may, consistent with its powers, duties and responsibilities for the purpose of ensuring the effective and efficient implementation of the rules and regulations promulgated there under, call upon any government agency for assistance, with such government agency using its own available fund for the purpose.


Violation of any of the provisions of this Rules and Regulations shall be penalized in accordance with R.A. 8485 as amended.


If any provision of this Circular is declared unconstitutional or invalid, the remaining portions thereof which are not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.


All existing administrative orders, circulars, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this circular are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.


This circular shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in any newspaper of general circulation. Three certified copies shall be submitted to the National Administrative Register at the University of the Philippines Law Center.

Department of Agriculture
Signed: April 14, 2015

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