NEWS & FEATURES
Have you heard the woofest mews?
Have you heard the woofest mews?
By ALMA J. BUELVA
IF dogs and cats and other animals could speak, they would demand a total ban on the use of firecrackers, especially on New Year's Day.
This is the key message that the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) together with other animal welfare groups and environmental organizations tried to impart by staging a peaceful and informative rally to encourage the public to refrain from using firecrackers that severely scare and affect animals.
Held on Dec. 28 inside the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City, the rally was joined by dogs of all sizes -- from Chihuahuas to Alaskan Malamutes -- who all demand one thing: a total ban on firecrackers.
Ana Cabrera of PAWS advised the public to secure their pets especially on New Year's Eve or at the height of the expected lighting of fireworks and firecrackers nationwide.
Deemed hazardous to the environment, fireworks and firecrackers pose danger not only to humans but to animals as well. Dogs and cats, with their acute sense of hearing, suffer from the heightened booming noises.
To help pets cope during the revelry, Cabrera said pet owners should try to exercise their pets early on Dec. 31 to spend their energies so they would be less fidgety and scared when the clock hits midnight. She also said it would help if pet owners would let all their pets inside the house, even for this special evening only, to protect them from the noise and dangers that pyrotechnics can cause.
"Create white noise by playing soothing music to help calm your pets," she added.
Cabrera lamented that stray animals suffer the most when people hazardously use firecrackers because they have no safe place to hide. Sadly, some people even purposely harm strays by throwing lit firecrackers at them, she added.
Representatives from the Animal Kingdom Foundation, CARA Welfare and the EcoWaste Coalition also joined the activity to drum up awareness on the ill effects of pyrotechnics to humans, animals and the environment.
Animal Rights Group Warns That Dogs and Cats Are a Lifelong Commitment and Should Never Be Given as Surprise Gifts
MANILA — The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia is urging everyone not to give pets as Christmas presents, especially to those who are not prepared to take care of an animal. The animal rights group said just because animals look cute under the Christmas tree doesn't mean that they make good holiday gifts.
Unlike gifts that are easy to return, re-gift, or forget about, puppies and kittens require a big commitment and should not be adopted on impulse or given as a gift. Both need lots of patience and understanding, room to grow physically and mentally, and a fat wallet for sterilization, shots, deworming, grooming, food, medicine, and toys.
When given as gifts to those who can't properly take care of them, the puppies and kittens risk ending up in shelters sooner or later.
“In the weeks following the holidays, already overwhelmed animal shelters will be flooded with 'Christmas cats' and 'Christmas dogs' and other animals will wind up at the end of a chain—simply because they didn't fit into someone's lifestyle. Caring for an animal is a 15-year (or more) commitment, and those who are given as gifts to unprepared recipients are often discarded once the novelty wears off,” said PETA.
PETA also said animal shelters are filled beyond capacity with homeless animals, many of whom were former "pets" who were surrendered because a child lost interest and no one else stepped in and took the time to provide training and care. Dogs need outdoor exercise every single day, and a huge time investment is required to train (and housetrain) a puppy—children aren't mature enough to handle this responsibility. The decision to adopt an animal companion should be carefully considered by the whole family and not made on a whim.
"People who aren't ready to adopt but want to share a little Christmas cheer with homeless animals this holiday season can donate dog and cat food, toys, bedding, or other items to their local animal shelter," says PETA Vice President of International Campaigns Jason Baker. "PETA also encourages prospective guardians never to buy a dog or a cat from a breeder, as doing so robs animals in shelters of the chance at a loving home."
If you're sure that someone is interested in adopting an animal and has the time, ability, and resources to care for one year-round, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to abuse in any way"—recommends taking him or her to an animal shelter after the holidays to find one who fits that person's lifestyle.
For more information on animal adoption and cruelty-free Christmas gifts, please visit PETAAsia.com or our Facebook page.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
NEED a place that will take good care of your dog for a day or longer? The newly opened Playbow dog day care and boarding facility in Makati will do that and more.
Playbow at Alphaland Makati Place is a free-roaming facility where dogs can safely play, walk and run around with other sociable dogs inside a large, air-conditioned space. There are individual kennels for dogs that need to go solo, but Playbow's priority is to make a dog's stay as fun as possible so a big activity area that can accommodate 50 or more dogs is this place's main attraction.
Six female business partners—all dog lovers—own and manage Playbow. Their staff consists of experienced dog handlers and groomers plus their own personal dogs, which help guest dogs feel at home.
Playbow accepts dogs for daycare and boarding daily, starting at 8 a.m. Dog owners can also bring their dogs here for grooming any day except Monday.
DAYCARE & BOARDING
Playbow follows a strict check-in procedure starting with a thorough evaluation of a dog's health and behavior to ensure the safety of all dogs in its facility. Customers also need to provide a long checklist of information about their dogs before registration.
Playbow accepts healthy dogs from two months to 10 years old and with current vaccines against rabies, distemper, parvovirus and bordetella (kennel cough). However, female dogs in heat will not be admitted for daycare or will be separated from other dogs if they go into heat during boarding.
Among Playbow's target markets are expatriates and travelers who need a safe place to leave their dogs for a short or long period. While walk-ins are welcome, the management recommends that customers first call or visit them to learn about the range of services and applicable rates, to reserve dates and to discuss any special requirements of their dogs.
The best part starts when the dog is finally admitted for day care or boarding. Playbow keeps a daily schedule of activities that intersperse play time with meals and chew time, as well as cuddle time and potty time.
Dog owners can sign up their pets for only two hours or up to 10 hours of day care. Depending on the schedule, well-adjusted dogs can participate in group play and basic obedience training. There is also an option to walk the dog outside the building if the owner asks for it.
Playbow's dog handlers are expected to keep an eye on all dogs at all times so they could quickly respond to individual requirements and immediately clean up after them. At least one of the business partners is also usually present to give the dogs hands-on care and companionship and serve as surrogate mom during the dogs' stay. One of the partners is a dog trainer; another one is a veterinarian.
Playbow's dog boarders get a night nanny. They also get to eat their own food as Playbow encourages owners to pack enough for cold storage. If it's necessary to provide another type of dog food, Playbow would first seek the owner's consent, said Maiko Romley, one of the partners.
“Clients can bring in their own dog food, but if boarding gets extended and that food runs out, we will first get the dog owner's clearance and instructions before we give the dog something else to eat,” she added.
Playbow goes the extra mile to elevate its daycare and boarding services before, during and after a dog's stay.
Aside from the meticulous screening before admission and the sensible activities to keep dogs engaged and socialized, Playbow also prepares a report card for every dog at the end of the day. Jen Alonte, one of the partners, told MetroPets that the report card shows what activities a dog participated in, who did it play with the most or what new things it learned, for example.
“We note our observations in the report card for the owners to see. We treat dogs as family and we really emphasize socialization so we try to make the dogs friendly to each other even though they are of different breeds,” she said.
Playbow is designed to be a place where dogs are free to do what dogs love to do, which is to eat and be merry, to run and play with a pack and to plop down anywhere without care.
The entire facility is devoid of impractical items like ornate dog beds often seen in pet hotels. There is no caged dog in sight, either. Instead, one will see here lots of dogs running around chasing each other, stopping momentarily for a quick kiss, a belly rub or a photo snap. Clearly, Playbow digs dogs.
*To know more about Playbow, Inc. visit or call them at:
U-S01 2/F Alphaland Makati Place,
7232 Ayala Extension corner Malugay St.,
* Laika and Felicette, pioneer pet astronauts