By ALMA J. BUELVA
A month after opening a branch in SM North EDSA in Quezon City, Hello Kitty Cafe is set to quickly follow it up with more branches around the metro.
Another of this Sanrio-themed cafe is expected to open this September in UP Town Center in Katipunan Ave., Quezon City. A branch in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig is also in the pipeline.
The Hello Kitty Cafe is operated by Sanrio itself. Like most pop-up restaurants, it is not a big place with only a handful of tables and chairs for dine-in guests. But what it lacks in space it makes up for in ambiance. There's no mistaking you are inside the world of Hello Kitty as most items are pink and white and Hello Kitty is everywhere from the cups and pitchers to the actual food.
This place is ideal for those who like Sanrio characters and for ailurophiles who like Hello Kitty.
If you want to order take-away, you will still get the Sanrio experience as they pack everything nicely, complete with Hello Kitty stickers and ribbons.
But the big surprise are the pastries which, despite being heavy on food color, actually tasted really good. For us the donuts, particularly the chocolate flavored Badtz-Maru, are even better than some sugar bombs we find in popular donut places.
Hello Kitty Cafe thankfully didn't price their food and drinks outrageously expensive. For example, a box of three donuts and two cute cupcakes cost P550. That is not cheap but we reason that it is to be expected if one wants to eat food with the face of the world's most recognizable cat character: Hello Kitty.
THE Pet Express Dog & Cat Expo 2016 is happening this weekend, July 16 &17 at SMX Mall of Asia.
The two-day pet show is expected to once again attract a huge crowd of animal lovers and their pets under one roof. Exhibitors of pet products that range from dry and wet food, bath items, medical supplies, beddings and toys, to clothes and accessories will compete for visitors' attention and their wallets.
This year's show will highlight the many breeds of cats and dogs around the world. There will be plenty of informative talks by pet experts as well as games and raffles.
Admission is free and pets are very much welcome to attend. The expo will open from 10am to 10pm.
IT was no ordinary Sunday at the park last weekend when dogs of various breeds and sizes occupied the Greenfield District in Pasig for hours of fun.
Exhibitors vied for dog owners' attention by showcasing their products for dogs including food and supplements, clothes and leashes, trolleys and toys, bath and grooming essentials, cages and beds, and a lot more.
Dogs participated in different games along with their owners or handlers for a chance to win special prizes from event sponsors.
Members of different dog clubs proudly brought their dogs to the event, with many of them wearing their groups' official T-shirts.
Paws in the Park 3 was organized by the Philippine Canine Sports Alliance. -- MetroPets
By ALMA J. BUELVA
A kawaii inspired cat shelter is raring to open soon to give people a happier way to experience cat adoption.
Animal shelters usually look dull and dreary but Tea Pawty, a brainchild of Razel Ann Pabalan and Justine Chantelle Abad, will be a happy place full of kawaii items and "cute" vibes.
Their original plan was to open a cat café with rescued cats for adoption, but that would be chasing their dream in reverse. Because their foremost goal is to help cats in need, the ladies tweaked their plan and are now looking forward to open a cat shelter with café on the side!
In addition, the two designers (Razel is an interior designer while Justine is a fashion designer) wish to bring the kawaii lifestyle to their cat shelter by inviting other local kawaii artists to sell their handmade cat products at Tea Pawty.
“Tea Pawty is going to be a shelter than a cat cafe. We will cater to rescue cats and visitors can adopt them and support our operation by buying kawaii items consigned to us,” said Razel.
“One of our goals is to help small local kawaii artists showcase their works especially those who have no means to do it alone. Partner artists will donate 30 percent of their sale to Tea Pawty,” added Razel.
To get the “pawty” started, the ladies have populated Tea Pawty's range of products with their own special creations, plus items from their initial partner artists as well as those they buy from third parties.
Justine runs Dorotee Sweetlips which makes Lolita-inspired dresses, hats and other fashion items. She also creates a special line of cat clothes for Tea Pawty.
Razel creates whimsical and kawaii cold porcelain clay accessories under her brand, Spring Marionette. She said she also plans to create items like cat bookends and cat condos.
“The shelter should be self-sustaining because it's hard to rely on donations only. That is why we have to sell items, preferably local kawaii-themed handmade goods. By doing that, we can also help artists like us to sell their creations,” said Justine.
At present, Tea Pawty uses its Facebook page to market its products which are sold at very friendly prices. They accept made-to-order items which would take at least additional two days processing. Items coming from Razel's end in Laguna require an additional shipping fee of P80 to Metro Manila and P90 to provincial areas. If the order will be fulfilled by Justin who is based in Manila, the shipping fee is only P50. Tea Pawty accepts payments via Bank of Philippine Islands and LBC.
Tea Pawty is active in Etsy, an e-commerce website mostly focused on handmade or vintage items. Razel said they have had local buyers as well as customers from the US who bought Tea Pawty items.
Meanwhile, the two ladies have been helping stray cats find forever homes while saving up to build their cat shelter since 2014. Razel said they have raised enough to rent a space and open Tea Pawty, most likely in Pasay City where it will be closer for both of them.
Later, TeaPawty also plans to hold cat-related workshops to raise funds for their future resident cats. They said they want to tap more artists from the local kawaii and cosplay communities and to participate in more conventions and expos to increase Tea Pawty's circle of friends and supporters.
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.
THE adopted cats from Cat Cafe Manila met once again over the weekend for their first “catlumni” homecoming for Christmas.
To date, the all-rescue, all-Puspin cat cafe has rehomed four of its cats, namely: Shelly, Bicco, Oreo and Ling-ling. Only Shelly was absent for the small gathering at the cafe, which was also attended by the cats' adoptive parents and representatives from CARA Welfare Philippines.
Denis Ty of Cat Cafe Manila thanked everyone who attended and happily hosted the unique reunion, which allowed everyone to share stories about the new furry members of their families.
The adopted cats were a little aloof again at first, but started to come around before the party was over.
Currently, Cat Cafe Manila features 14 Puspin cats from CARA. It is part of their “catvocacy” to find a forever loving home for some of their cats to make room for other cats at the cafe.
THE 2nd Team Kovu Dog Sport Cup scheduled on Nov. 28 is calling on all dog owners to join this very first human and dog outdoor adventure challenge designed to promote a more active and healthy lifestyle.
Open to all dog breeds of any size that are six months old and above, the day-long event in Greenfield City Sports Field in Paseo Center, Sta. Rosa, Laguna, will mark the launch of the Team Kovu Challenge which will feature outdoor obstacles derived from real-life hurdles that the organizers have experienced with their dogs. The winner will take home the Team Kovu Crystal Cup Trophy.
There is no rigid dog training experience needed to overcome each obstacle to win the challenge. “The strength of the human and dog’s bonding, together with how well their teamwork is will be the key factors to win,” said Carl Michael De Leon of Team Kovu.
He added that the challenge is easy enough for a child with a well-bonded dog to complete and enjoy. Kids below 13 years old must be accompanied by a guardian.
Also to be held during the day are the Philippine Canine Sports Alliance (PCSA) Official Agility Trials, Beginner’s Fun Challenge, All American Bulldog Show, and a photo contest.
Part of the registration fees will go to the Island Rescue Organization, a non-profit animal welfare group based in Cebu. Its executive director, Nena Hernandez, will talk about IRO's advocacies during the event.
The 2nd Team Kovu Dog Sport Cup is supported by EzyDog, Pet Discount, Royal Canin and Vitality.
ABOUT TEAM KOVU
TeamKovu Enterprises was legally established in March 8, 2012. In February, 2011, Carl Michael G. de Leon and his personally trained American Bulldog named Kovu passed the qualifying trial to compete in the official Philippine Mondioring trials. Team Kovu actively participates in dog sport events and engages in adventure activities such as river trekking, climbing mountains and exploring dog-friendly beaches. Team Kovu holds training classes for dogs and seminars for people on how to communicate with dogs.
For more information on the event, contact:
Carl Michael G. de Leon
+63 (915) 574-6632
By ALMA J. BUELVA
A distraught owner of a Shih Tzu shared on Nov. 5 in Facebook how his dog's ear was allegedly accidentally cut off by a dog groomer from Animal House clinic in Pasig.
Eyjay Go posted 11 photos of what appeared to be a horrifying ordeal his dog went through in the hands of the pet groomer from the said clinic. Instead of just getting a simple haircut, a large part of the dog's right ear appeared to have been cut off and was not surgically reattached afterwards.
“Animal House Ortigas, why so careless?,” was all that Go could ask after his pet Cola unnecessarily became a one-eared dog.
Members of various dog groups in Facebook were quick to vent their anger at Animal House for its staff's negligence as they lamented over what happened to the toy dog. Many of the comments urge Go to sue the veterinary clinic.
A certain Donz A-Piesta said: “GRABE! Tatandaan ko yang Animal House na yan, kawawa naman yung dog. (Severe! I'll remember this Animal House, poor dog.)”
MetroPets is yet to hear from the Gos, but Animal House has already released an official statement to lay crucial facts regarding the incident.
In addition, a veterinarian from Animal House in Pasig, who spoke to MetroPets on condition of anonymity, shared important details of what he said actually happened. The doctor said Cola was brought to their establishment on Oct. 28 by a nanny and was received by a male groomer and the clinic secretary.
The groomer allegedly found a rubber band that was wound up tightly around the dog's ear, which was also apparently been rolled up. In that condition, the ear would have lost its crucial blood supply, he explained.
"For a scissor to do a cut (like what was suggested), it should open wide. It would have made the dog to cry in pain and caused non-stop bleeding. It would have called the vets' attention," the vet said.
He admitted that the groomer should have notified the vet on duty after finding the rubber band wrapped around the dog's ear, but stressed that after the dog was groomed and bathed, it went home with its ear still attached.
On Nov. 5, the owners of the dog returned Cola to the clinic and it was when that tuft of fur went off and photographed, the vet said. The doctor added they have discussed with the client what transpired and they provided free cone and medicine not as an admission of guilt, but out of compassion to the dog.
Photos of Cola at the clinic have spread among dog groups online, all of which seem to be in agreement that the clinic must be held liable for what happened. The owner of the photos didn't say when those photos were taken.
Left photo shows part of the fur covered ear of the dog that was allegedly accidentally cut off, but doctors said was the result of the ear being tied tightly with a rubber band for a long time, enough to cause necrosis of ear tissue that caused it to fall off. Right photo shows Cola being treated for her wound. (Photos from Eyjay Go's Facebook page).
Cola's case brings to mind a bad grooming incident last January that resulted in the death of another Shih Tzu named Tyler.
Tyler was left by her owner for grooming at The Dog Spa & Hotel in BF Homes Parañaque. After her grooming, the dog was left on a table unattended and when it jumped (or fell) from the table, it got hanged.
Veterinary malpractice and grooming accidents have incensed many pet owners lately. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal advises pet owners to protect their animal before tragedy strikes by doing the following:
* Look for a skilled and caring veterinarian (ask for references from trusted friends and humane organizations, and call proper government agencies and veterinary medical board or group to check for complaints).
* Seek a second or third opinion about your animal’s diagnosis before proceeding with surgery or treatment, and carefully monitoring your animal’s stay and treatment at veterinary clinics.
* Never hesitate to ask questions about your animal companion’s treatment, and never leave your animal overnight at a veterinary hospital unless you are convinced that it is necessary and in your animal’s best interests to do so.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
DOGS in strollers congregated in the bay area of the SM Mall of Asia on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 27, for the Sunset Pet Stroller Walk for a Cause.
The event, organized by Pet Express in cooperation with Bubble Bath and DoggiEssentials Dextrolyte, put a spin on charity walks and fun runs by featuring adorable dogs in strollers instead. The dogs on wheels gathered around the SM By the Bay to have fun and to raise funds for the less fortunate pets that were rescued by CARA Welfare Philippines.
The sight of healthy dogs behaving like babies in strollers would have amazed international dog behavior expert and dog whisperer Cesar Millan. During his 2014 visit in Manila, he remarked about the oddness of dogs in strollers while toddlers wear safety harnesses and leashes.
The Sunset Pet Stroller Walk for a Cause, however, was all in good fun and some dogs with no strollers simply strolled on their four legs. Here are some of the pampered pooches that rocked their strollers.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
BENGAL Brew is opening its doors on August 8. The fourth cat cafe in Quezon City and the sixth in Metro Manila, it is owned by Don Michael Perez, a television and film writer and director.
From the pictures shared on their Facebook page, Bengal Brew looks like a very enticing place for both cats and humans. The interior has elements of a tropical rainforest that try to simulate as much as possible the natural habitat of leopards in the wild. Bengal Brew boasts of being the first cat cafe in the world to exclusively feature bengal cats.
Bengal Brew is located at Manhattan Parkview, Manhattan Garden City, Araneta Center, Cubao and will feature Perez's own Bengal cats.
Bengal Brew is still on soft opening, but the smell of coffee and the call of the wild should quickly bring ailurophiles to its door.
To know more about Bengal Brew or to make a reservation after August 8, please call: 0917 577 5264.