By ALMA J. BUELVA
PASAY PUPS, a group of animal welfare volunteers operating in an impoverished area in Pasay City, has given over 500 poor kids Christmas presents from donations they collected from donors since October.
Ashley Fruno, the tireless woman that leads Pasay Pups, said they were able to distribute educational toys, school supplies, and calendar that shows kids how to properly care for cats and dogs. This is the second year that Pasay Pups staged a Christmas Kids' Program.
Fruno said easily half of the recipients of gifts are living in the Sarhento Mariano cemetery which has no running water or proper sanitation. The poor children also received hygiene items, umbrellas, water bottles and shoes.
“We are so grateful to you - our donors, volunteers, and supporters - for helping us help kids,” she said in a post in Pasay Pups' Facebook page.
Aside from helping kids in need, Fruno also wishes all animals a better future.
“I wish that all dogs would never be chained, caged or left outside. Dogs are pack animals, for whom separation from their pack (their human pack is you!) is the cruelest punishment. Dogs belong inside, with you.
Her other wish is that more people will adopt pets from the shelter and not buy one from a breeder or pet store.
“There are so many homeless pets waiting in shelters around the country – they deserve to be home for the holidays, too,” she added.
She reminds everyone that spaying or neutering animals is really important to control the population of abandoned and unwanted animals.
Fruno who is also with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) also wishes that “people would recognize that farmed animals – like chickens, pigs, and cows – are no different from our cats and dogs at home. For example, pigs can dream, respond to their names, and be taught tricks like to “sit” for a treat or to rollover. They like listening to music and playing with soccer balls, too. I hope people will enjoy more meatless meals in 2016,” she said.
AS early as 5 a.m. every Saturday, a team of animal welfare volunteers visits the Sarhento Mariano public cemetery in Pasay City. Their mission: bring hope and better life to unfortunate dogs and cats who made the graveyard their home.
Ashley Fruno who formed Pasay Pups about 10 months ago to improve the health of dogs and cats who live among informal settlers in the cemetery and nearby areas is heartened to see big improvements in the animals they've helped so far. Assisted by veterinary professionals who offer their services and time and donors who provide help in kind, Pasay Pups is able to conduct regular free spay/neuter operations and other kinds of treatments for pets from poor families.
Treating animals in the area suffering from worms infestation and mange is also one of Pasay Pups' objectives.
“Many of the animals there were underweight as a result of severe parasite infections. We've been visiting the cemetery weekly to treat animals for mange, tick and worm infestations,” says Ashley.
At any one time, the group could be treating more than a dozen dogs and cats for sarcoptic mange. It is a painful and extremely itchy skin disease that causes the dogs to scratch until their skin breaks and bleeds. As their “patients” are always moving from one place to another, Pasay Pups people always bring with them anti-mange topical medication and oral anti-parasitic and antibiotics. Ashley said in their group's Facebook page that a two-month treatment especially for severe cases could cost about $20 per dog.
Pasay Pups provide free vaccinations against rabies and other diseases like distemper provided that the pet owners consent to having their animals desexed in the future.
“These immunizations save lives, and allow people to interact with their animals without the fear of rabies,” said Ashley.
When they are not providing medical care for animals, the Pasay Pups team are building sturdy houses for chained dogs that are usually left exposed to the elements night and day.
Ashey and her team also offer their time to walk dogs who are always kept tied in front of their owners' houses.
To continue with their mission, Pasay Pups asks for donations that can be sent via Paypal.