NEWS & FEATURES
Have you heard the woofest mews?
Have you heard the woofest mews?
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.
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: email@example.com CC: firstname.lastname@example.org and include a clear/recent photo, date/place last seen and your contact info.
* Laika and Felicette, pioneer pet astronauts