NEWS & FEATURES
Have you heard the woofest mews?
Have you heard the woofest mews?
CARA Welfare Philippines is asking animal lovers and international welfare organizations to support its latest fund drive for the benefit of cats and dogs at its shelter and the Laguna Pitbulls.
The “Give me 5” campaign eyes a minimum donation of P500 per person which will cover the needs of one shelter animal and one Laguna Pitbull for one day. The animal welfare group estimates that each of their ward at least needs P250 a day for food, medicine, staff care and shelter.
Those who want to help out can deposit their donations via the following bank accounts. For transparency, donors are requested to provide CARA with a digital copy of the bank deposit slip reflecting their donations.
For kitty donations:
CARA Welfare Phils. Via BPI C/A 3191-0467-05
For Laguna Pitbulls donations:
CARA Welfare Phils. Via BPI C/A 3121-1984-86
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.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
“WE want you to learn carpentry.”
With these words, Robbie De Guia, president of Dunsk Kuhner, the company behind St. Roche dog shampoo, ushered groups of pet lovers to the 1,400sqm property in Silang, Cavite that will be the site of Haven of Love, a home for abused and neglected animals.
The recent gathering marked St. Roche's groundbreaking ceremony for the planned animal home. Company executives emphasized that an animal home is more than an animal shelter because it will also provide loving care on top of food and shelter for animals and education for people.
“Animals deserve a shelter not a home. In our culture, dogs are reincarnated as humans so we would like to treat them as humanely as possible. Let's keep this a beautiful place for dogs, said top company executive, Raja Menghrajani.
Volunteerism will be at the core of this endeavor which targets to have a soft start before the year ends. De Guia said they aim to spend only for the building materials and a construction foreman's salary. Labor will be a collective effort of volunteers.
HAVEN OF LOVE
During the ceremony, St. Roche officials took turn touring guests to the vast property where facilities and buildings will be built.
The Haven of Love is envisioned to have the following:
* A building with conference rooms for the use of veterinarians and pet groups, a clinic, and food storage.
* The Home (at least 7meter x 7meter), partly covered by football turf so it will be parasite free.
* Sleeping quarters made up of five houses, each able to room from six to eight people. Each house will be about 30sqm.
* A 400sqm Pet Cemetery with an incinerator machine. A memorial plot will be for sale.
* A Vegetable Farm to grow squash, okra, fruit-bearing trees, sweet potato, eggplant and other vegetables that can be used to feed cats and dogs.
* A Cat Area that is 150sqm big at least. It will be an enclosed area with good ventilation for the benefit of 200 cats.
* A Fish Farm that is 100sqm big, good enough for tilapia, catfish and other kinds of fish to thrive. Volunteers will be allowed to fish for their meals.
* A Dog Pool about 30 to 40 feet for dogs' enjoyment and exercise.
* A Dog Quarantine with about 50sqm floor space.
There will be five of the “Home” structures with ceiling fans and comfy dog beds and pillows from Daki. The interiors will be painted blue and green as these colors have a calming effect on dogs, especially those that have been traumatized in the past. De Guia said each Home can keep 30 to 40 dogs.
So far, 1,300 individuals have expressed their interest to donate their time and skills to help build the Haven of Love animal home. Even homeless people who can be proven to be of good character and are animal lovers could potentially be tapped to help out at the shelter.
De Guia said, volunteers can earn “love tokens” commensurate to the services they render. The love tokens can be used to avail of the free use of facilities like the conference room for team building.
The Haven of Love is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a foundation with a seven-man Board of Trustees.
Aside from enlisting more volunteers to help build the shelter, St. Roche is also getting creative with its fund raising campaigns. It is selling for P2,000 the St. Roche Love Pack, a basket full of St. Roche products, with 75 percent of the sales going to the shelter. They also created a “Wall of Love” at the site where people could write a dedication to their former pets for a small fee of P100.
In addition, the company will launch a personalized logo of St. Roche with a customer's pet's photo for P1,000.
Meanwhile, the dogs that will be homed in Silang will enjoy food and treats from a Canadian dog food manufacturer. De Guia said they target to open Haven of Love early next year or before the year ends.
Present during the groundbreaking ceremony are several dog groups (photos below) such as the Cavite Husky Pack, Tarlac Dog Walkers, Mandaluyong Pack Leaders, Philippine Dog Pawsitive, UPLB-Veterinary students, United ShihTzu Lovers Philippines, Bulacan Dog Walkers, Noah's Ark Petlovers Society, Canine Lovers Association of Pampanga, Boston Terriers Tribe, and the Valenzuela South Alpha Dogs, and others. Also present are several individuals who are not necessarily part of any dog group or association.
A NEW case of animal cruelty was recently filmed and uploaded on Facebook by the perpetrators, and then was shared by a concerned citizen last Feb. 12. It showed a teenage boy who repeatedly stoned and then peed on a tiny kitten until it died.
The video, which lasted almost two minutes, was shared by a certain Nina Scarlet who identified the kitten's killer as Raymark Lansangan who was wearing a school uniform when the incident happened. In the video, another school boy was seen squatting near the kitten while another person hidden from view took the video.
After much prodding from Facebook users, Nina identified the two other persons in the video as Benedic Daquioag and the one who filmed the ghastly act as Dharyl Rivera. She said Lansangan is from Antipolo, Rizal.
In the video, Lansangan hurled rocks and pissed on a crying, bloodied kitten until it died. All along, Lansangan was laughing while his companions did nothing to stop him. At one point, both his companions warned him that he could go to jail if the video becomes viral, but that didn't stop them from what they're doing.
The video immediately created a social media firestorm with hundreds of animal lovers deploring the savage way the kitten was killed. Curses and threats were directed to all those party to the slaying, while others shared the link with animal welfare groups and media outlets, demanding justice for the young cat. Others threaten to report the students to their school for disciplinary action.
Nina said she knows those people in the video who, she added, cut classes that day.
At one point, Dharyl Rivera who allegedly took the video joined the long thread of messages in Facebook and said this:
He also issued this threat to the reporter:
As of this posting, comments from animal lovers continue to pour in at different Facebook groups, all asking for one thing: justice for the “Antipolo kitty”. (AJB, MetroPets)
By ALMA J. BUELVA
THE management of Velvet Friends Cat Cafe has announced that they will soon evolve into a full pet café, with not just cats but dogs and rabbits, too.
If all goes well, Velvet Friends Pet Cafe will be the first of its kind in the country.
“It will be a place of sheer delight to pet lovers as there will be cats of different breeds and lovable dogs such as Papillons, Japanese Chins, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Keeshond and a lot more to make the place even merrier,” said Chito Aclon of Velvet Friends Cat Cafe.
In addition, the upcoming pet cafe will also feature bunnies. Aclon plans to introduce Netherland Dwarves and Holland Lops, among others, imported from Singapore and Ukraine.
With his new partner, Aclon eyes the opening of Velvet Friends Pet Cafe very soon, still at Blue Bay Walk in Pasay City but on the ground floor.
Aclon told MetroPets that Velvet Friends Pet Cafe will occupy a bigger place with one section for cats and another for lap dogs. They also plan to feature an indoor garden.
Velvet Friends Cat Cafe officially opened in June 2015. It featured top-of-the-line cat breeds such as Kurilian Bobtail, Maine Coon, Siberian, Cornish Rex, among many others. They also featured and fostered Puspins.
The upcoming Velvet Friends Pet Cafe will allow the company to differentiate itself from other cat cafés by hosting other types of pets. It will give dog lovers in the city a second place to visit and enjoy the company of dogs in a café setting.
Barkin' Blends Dog Cafe near Katipunan Ave. in Quezon City operates the country's first and only dog cafe to date.
“I'm always a dog lover, it never changes. To have both (cats and dogs) plus bunnies would be paradise for me,” said Aclon.
THE lead guitarist of The Vamps, James McVey, who recently visited Manila is the latest celebrity to join the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in its “Save a Life: Adopt—Don't Shop!” campaign.
McVey who loves both dogs and cats were featured with kittens in the PETA ad. The image of him with kittens was shot by top celebrity photographer Ruth Rose.
"There are millions of animals already in shelters—kittens, puppies, dogs, a variety of animals," says McVey. "So go to a shelter, adopt, and save a life!"
PETA said that every year, hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats end up in animal shelters, and many are euthanized when nobody adopts them. There are also many strays that just die on the streets. Shelter and stray animals' chances of finding a home grow smaller when people opt to buy a pet instead, the group added.
McVey and PETA aim to encourage those who want a pet to first visit a local shelter or rescue group.
McVey joins a long list of musicians like Little Mix, P!nk, Cody Simpson and Kesha who have teamed up with PETA and its affiliates to promote kindness to animals.
For more information, please visit PETAAsia.com
THE People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia is offering up to P50,000 reward for information that could help find the person or group that killed innocent cats from Dasmariñas Village in Makati City.
On Jan. 13, a dozen community cats from the posh village went missing and some were found dead, apparently from unnatural causes. In a circular released by the village management, one cat was reported to have died from chemical burns after paint thinner was poured over him.
The community cats in Dasmariñas Village have been spayed and neutered through CARA Welfare's Trap-Neuter-Return program and are fed by residents of the village. Before the cats' disappearance and deaths, a note was found saying: “You stop feeding cats. Our village is no cat sanctuary. Or else...”
The management and security of Dasmariñas Village are looking into the barbaric series of crimes against the cats, but so far no suspects have been identified.
"It's imperative that any community faced with a violent act such as the vicious killing of the community cats of Dasmariñas Village take measures to find the culprit or culprits and bring them to justice," says PETA Asia Vice President for International Operations Jason Baker. "Animal abusers are a danger to everyone: They take their issues out on whomever is available to them, human or nonhuman, and must be caught before they act again. We're appealing to anyone with information about those responsible for these cruel crimes to come forward now so that the perpetrator or perpetrators can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
PETA hopes to bring the person or persons responsible for the cats' deaths and disappearances to justice. Aggravated cruelty to animals carries a penalty of up to P250,000 and three years imprisonment under the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 as amended by Republic Act No. 10631.
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the PETA Asia hotline at 0999-888-7382.
THE man from Cotabato City recently filmed repeatedly slamming a puppy against a concrete wall and smashing a bottle on its head has gone into hiding.
The video went viral after it was shared by a minor who owns the puppy. Scared to stop the dog's tormentor, the child secretly filmed the incident which became a strong evidence in filing this yet another case of animal cruelty.
The Philippine Animal Lovers Society (PALS) reported that the animal abuser, one Rodolfo “Opong” Serguino, went hiding after PAL's founder, Mirriam Bengil, spoke in GMA TV News last January 10 about the case and its possible penalties under Philippine law.
The good news is, PALS also visited Barangay Presbitero in the said province where the incident happened and confirmed that the dog, now called “Presby”, is still alive contrary to reports that it perished after being attacked by Serguino, a neighbor of Presby's owner.
PALS members and officers were skeptical at first, but witnesses who gave their testimonies confirmed that the dog survived the attack. Apparently, the dog was unconscious for three hours straight and when people decided to bury him, Presby woke up and coughed blood, PALS said.
According to a veterinarian from Animal Solution Vet Hospital in Davao, Presby survived his ordeal and didn't suffer from internal bleeding because he was able to expel his blood. Presby's body is still sore and his face swollen, but the puppy has a strong will to survive and is now eating.
The mother of the minor who owns Presby has filed an affidavit and PALS will file a case against Serguino.
Presby is now being fostered by a PALS rescuer and member named “Anya”. The group said they will seek justice for Presby even if it takes long now that his assailant is in hiding.
DOGS in the country, especially the native Aspins, have reason to be hopeful this year as government agencies and partner institutions fighting the illegal trading of dog meat are hoping to have the national plan of action finalized early this year.
Launched last September, the National Plan of Action (NAPOA) to Eliminate the Trade of Dogs for Meat aims for a complete end to the nefarious dog meat trading which not only victimizes dogs but also endangers public health.
One of its immediate impacts would be on the apprehending and filing of cases against violators. The penalties will be based on the provision of the Animal Welfare Law which include a fine of up to P250,000 and six years imprisonment.
Armelo Mauro, training officer at the Animal Health and Welfare Division of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry, told MetroPets that that plan's Implementing Rules and Regulations are now at the committee level for finalization.
He said, they have statistics that show a decline in dog meat trading around the country last year, thanks mainly to the efforts of NGOs who are at the forefront of the campaign against hot meat.
Mauro said they are also proactively informing the public about the dangers of eating hot meat from dogs, cats, deer and wild boar because these likely carry deadly bacteria and other contaminants.
Meanwhile, Mauro advises concerned citizens to photograph or film those who slaughter dogs and report them to the police and file an affidavit at the prosecution office.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
PURINA Petcare Philippines, a business unit of Nestlé, is fueling a Facebook-based project to promote the local breed of cats, many of which are neglected and homeless.
Pusang Pinoy or Puspins they are called, Philippines' version of (British) moggies are currently basking in the limelight after Purina created an online stage for them to shine. PuspinsofMeownila is a Facebook-driven project of Purina's local team that highlights the beauty and fine quality of Puspins.
PuspinsofMeownila entries like these four photos above celebrate the beauty and fine qualities of local cats. (Photos from Purina Philippines)
Until recently, the Puspin used to go by a derogatory nickname “Pusakal”, short for Pusang Kalye, as many of them are strays. The fact that it has been given a more dignified name is proof that many people appreciate Puspins and for good reason.
PuspinsofMeownila lets anyone share stories and photos of their Puspins on Purina's official Facebook page to inspire more people to take Puspins as pets. The combined use of images and stories creates a compelling narrative, made more valuable by supporting comments from like-minded individuals.
Through PuspinsofMeownila, more people will hopefully see that the native kitties can be as adorable as purebred cats. PuspinsofMeownila is a valuable publicity tool for the many Puspins that are wandering the streets and languishing in shelters, all hoping to be soon adopted into loving homes.
“PuspinsofMeownila is designed to help increase Puspin adoptions, give these cats a 'voice' and show that they are also very lovable,” said Joshua Frederick P. Alarkon of Purina Petcare Philippines.
Although Facebook is the project's platform of choice, PuspinsofMeownila inevitably found its way in the photo-sharing application Instagram, where proud Puspin owners share their photos using the official hashtag #PuspinsofMeownila.
From June to November 2015, Purina received over 2,000 entries from Puspin owners, all declaring their love and gratitude for their low-maintenance Puspin that's every inch a good cat.
* LTFRB says pets can now ride public transport