AS early as 5 a.m. every Saturday, a team of animal welfare volunteers visits the Sarhento Mariano public cemetery in Pasay City. Their mission: bring hope and better life to unfortunate dogs and cats who made the graveyard their home.
Ashley Fruno who formed Pasay Pups about 10 months ago to improve the health of dogs and cats who live among informal settlers in the cemetery and nearby areas is heartened to see big improvements in the animals they've helped so far. Assisted by veterinary professionals who offer their services and time and donors who provide help in kind, Pasay Pups is able to conduct regular free spay/neuter operations and other kinds of treatments for pets from poor families.
Treating animals in the area suffering from worms infestation and mange is also one of Pasay Pups' objectives.
“Many of the animals there were underweight as a result of severe parasite infections. We've been visiting the cemetery weekly to treat animals for mange, tick and worm infestations,” says Ashley.
At any one time, the group could be treating more than a dozen dogs and cats for sarcoptic mange. It is a painful and extremely itchy skin disease that causes the dogs to scratch until their skin breaks and bleeds. As their “patients” are always moving from one place to another, Pasay Pups people always bring with them anti-mange topical medication and oral anti-parasitic and antibiotics. Ashley said in their group's Facebook page that a two-month treatment especially for severe cases could cost about $20 per dog.
Pasay Pups provide free vaccinations against rabies and other diseases like distemper provided that the pet owners consent to having their animals desexed in the future.
“These immunizations save lives, and allow people to interact with their animals without the fear of rabies,” said Ashley.
When they are not providing medical care for animals, the Pasay Pups team are building sturdy houses for chained dogs that are usually left exposed to the elements night and day.
Ashey and her team also offer their time to walk dogs who are always kept tied in front of their owners' houses.
To continue with their mission, Pasay Pups asks for donations that can be sent via Paypal.
AT Cartimar, a known enclave of pet shops located in Pasay City, one must prepare to part with his hard earned money in exchange for a puppy or a kitten priced willy-nilly by jaded vendors out to make a quick buck.
We set foot once again in this puppy mills territory to document the pet shops' seemingly random pricing that can baffle and shock the naive.
The prices of dogs at Cartimar vary from store to store and they are usually negotiable. Other details such as the dog's color, size and age can also affect the final price.
There are also cats (mostly Persian) and other animals being sold at Cartimar.
Hamsters are being sold P100 a pair for the small breed and P100 each for the big variety.
Ordinary rabbits are priced P450 a pair, while dwarf and lion head rabbits cost P900 a pair.
Also for sale that day was a young pot-bellied pig. The black beauty has a P6,000 tag price, but the vendor was willing to chop off P500 to get rid of him. --- AJB
The following prices were obtained from interviews with shop owners on June 26, 2015: