NEWS & FEATURES
Have you heard the woofest mews?
Have you heard the woofest mews?
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 New Year celebrations bring the good and the bad. The good that comes with having a fresh start is marked by a lot of noise which is harmful to animals.
Dogs and cats with their acute sense of hearing suffer from “acoustical violence” from fireworks and other devices people use to create loud noise to usher the new year.
Once again, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the EcoWaste Coalition are appealing to the public to consider the safety of animals, especially the strays, and try to shield them from air and noise pollution and the high possibility of getting hurt when hit by firecrackers.
“Our four-legged friends, particularly cats and dogs, suffer in silence as firecrackers and fireworks of varying intensity are ignited in the belief that such practice can shoo away bad luck and pull in good energy and fortune,” said Anna Cabrera, executive director of PAWS, said.
Echoing Cabrera's appeal is Aileen Lucero, coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition, who cited that fireworks and firecrackers have negative impact on human and animal health, not to mention the environment.
Cabrera said pets get scared of the loud noise and, as a result, suffer from "appetite loss, upset stomach and confused sense of direction making animals to go astray or get injured.”
To have a peaceful and safe celebration, PAWS and EcoWaste suggested the following pointers:
* Persuade members of your household to make your home a “no firecracker” zone.
* Politely tell your neighbors not to light or throw firecrackers near your home.
* Exercise your pets during the days leading up to the New Year’s Eve and in the next morning when the festivities are over and the smoke has cleared.
* Give your pets a physical outlet for their pent up energy due to arousal and stress.
* Manage the environment so it is as relaxing as possible and as less stressful as you can make it.
* Provide your pet with a safe place to take temporary refuge. If possible, allow your pet to stay in a quiet room such as a bedroom.
* Close the windows, put the curtains down and play a relaxing music to neutralize the noise from the outside to help your pets feel secure.
* Ensure your pet’s access to drinking water. Make her/him pee or poo.
* Do not yell or laugh at your pet when she/he is cowering or shaking in fear. This is a natural response to a threat that they do not understand and cannot avoid.
The groups also reminded pet owners to keep shopping bags, cleaning solutions, tobacco products out of pets' reach. In addition, pets should not be fed holiday treats such as chocolate, fruit cake, nuts and alcoholic drinks.
THE high number of lost and stolen pets being reported daily all around the country is now very alarming and a growing problem. Reports of cats and dogs being stolen in broad daylight, sometimes even inside private residences, are rife in social media where distraught pet owners call for help to recover their beloved pets.
The target of thieves are usually purebred pets, but there are also many cases of domesticated native dogs and cats that suspiciously go missing. Many of those reported stolen were small animals like toy dogs and cats, which could be easily carried away or placed inside a bag. However, medium and large size dogs are not completely off the hook as some have gone missing or were stolen, too.
On Oct. 31, a certain Aira Maldta Negra posted on Facebook about her Shih Tzu and Pug which she said were stolen from their house in Calumpit, Bulacan at dawn. The grief-stricken Aira pleaded to anyone with information on “Gagay” the Shih Tzu and “Imaw” the Pug which she both treats like her children.
On the same day, another dog owner, AJ Mojica from Ususan, Taguig shared in Facebook the photos of a man who was seen carrying away his dog. The photos were actually footages taken by the community CCTV. Mojica said the unknown man went inside their property to steal his dog, which remains missing as of this writing.
In Aira's first post in Bulacan Gadgets BlackMarket (Buy and Sell) FB page, she addressed whoever stole her dogs by saying: “Ninakaw mo na sana lahat ng gamit ko d mga aso ko...sila na mga naging anak ko parang ninakawan mo ako ng anak. (You could have stolen all my things except my dogs...they are like my kids it's like you robbed me of my children).”
She also posted a heart-wrenching prayer: “Lord sila n lang regalo nyo sakin ngaun pasko na maibalik nagmamakaawa po ako. (Lord I beg to have my dogs back as your Christmas gift to me).”
Later that day, Aira reported that she recovered her pug Imaw from the market in Pulilan, Bulacan. However, she continues to look for Gagay, her four-year-old Shih Tzu.
“They are not just my dogs, they are my babies,” Aira said.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) has raised its concern over the continuously rising incidences of pet abduction in the country, particularly in Metro Manila. Its Facebook page has a section devoted to missing pets where they post pictures and information about the lost animals, as well as tips to keep them safe.
PAWS advises owners to immediately search for their pets and distribute flyers in the neighborhood. Owners should also look at the pound, vet clinics and other places where an animal might go to. The animal welfare group also recommends that pet owners seek assistance from the barangay/police if they believe their pets were stolen.
In addition, PAWS encourages pet owners to be vigilant and keep their pets safe by doing the following:
* When in public places (i.e, the mall, walking on your street/village, the vet clinic, etc), always make sure your pet is wearing a collar attached to a leash to keep them safe from harm and to keep them from hurting or scaring others. Also make sure you are always holding on to the leash and in control of your pet. RA9482: The Anti Rabies Act of 2007 Section 5 (Responsibilities of a Pet Owner) requires owners to maintain control over their dog and not allow it to roam the streets or any Public Place without a leash.
* Make sure you keep your pets indoors or in your home/yard/lot that is properly fenced to prevent your pets from running out of your home and being injured by vehicles, becoming victims of cruelty or picked up by dogcatchers or dog meat traders.
* Don't leave your pet unattended in public places (example: Don't leave your dog tied outside if you plan to eat in a restaurant. If your dog is with you, then please sit outside in the al
* SPAY/NEUTER your pets so that they don't wander off looking for a mate.
* Consider providing a pet tag hanging on your pet's collar. If your pet gets lost, this lets good samaritans know who to contact if your pet is found. You can also consider microchipping - this allows vets to be able to scan the dog for information of the owner.
* If you want your missing pet's photo posted in the PAWS LOST PETS album, please email TO: firstname.lastname@example.org CC: email@example.com and include a clear/recent photo, date/place last seen and your contact info.
* Laika and Felicette, pioneer pet astronauts