Forever homes, loving families

Kathy Moran
Complete papers, pedigree, and a high price don’t make for a better pet — a loving family and space to roam do

MEET MOMO. Momo is from the Mandaluyong Animal Shelter (MAS). PAWS helps MAS by spaying and neutering the dogs, a few at a time, to get them ready for adoption. Momo had leg surgery and is ready to go to a loving home. All photos courtesy of Kathy Moran

MANILA, Philippines – From time to time, I make it a point to visit the various “pet shops” in the metro to see just what they have put in cages there. 

Like many of my like-minded friends, I am saddened at how these shops operate. If you have ever been to a pet shop in the city then you know exactly what I am talking about. Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, birds, spiders, snakes and whatever other animal you can think of is put in a cage — not a clean one.

The stench of poop greets you as you enter the store. The animals for sale, which can come at hefty prices of P10,000 and above depending on their pedigree, are trapped in a little space and made to spend the day in their poop and pee. I guess this is why the animals are so happy to see someone who wants to buy them — just so they can get out of their cages that serve as prison cells. 

I recently had a conversation with an executive from one of the big companies in the country.

“I just got a Siberian Husky at a pet shop in the Ortigas area,” said the executive. “When my kids saw him, they didn’t want to leave without him.”

“That’s great,” I said. “You just rescued a pet.”

Dumbfounded, he looked at me and asked, “What do you mean? The dog came with complete papers.”

Complete papers, pedigree, and a high price don’t make for a better pet. But what I do know is that if you get a pet from one of these pet shops then you are rescuing a pet from cruelty.  

The thought of running amuck in these pet shops and setting all the animals free has crossed my mind so often. I have also wished to win the lotto to have the money to buy all the animals so that I can have these places closed down.

How can we be so cruel?

Have people ever thought of adoption?  

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) has done so much for pet adoption. Why buy from a pet store when you can adopt?

TAKE ME HOME! Dog Jesper with PAWS volunteer Victor has completed his vaccinations and treatment and is ready for a good home

If you want to acquire a pet, adopting from a shelter is always a great option, if not the best one. Today, there are at least 60 rescued dogs and 230 rescued cats up for adoption at PAWS. Each one of them was rescued from cruelty or neglect.

Although the adoption process may seem tedious at first, the reward and the joy of taking a pet home is always worth it. 

The strict policy ensures that the animals don’t return to a life of neglect. If you can make time to go through the proper process, it only means you really want a pet and are ready to commit. 

1. At the PAWS office aka the Philippine Animal Rehabilitation Center or PARC, a potential adoptive “parent” is asked to fill up an adoption application form.

2. An interview with two adoption counselors from PAWS follows.

3. After the interview, you are given a tour of the dog runs or the cattery, and you will be introduced to the dogs (or cats) available for adoption.

4. You can spend some time with the dog of your choice at the PAWS Doggie Park where the “getting-to-know” you sessions can go from minutes to half an hour.

5. An ocular inspection of the adoption applicant’s house is scheduled and conducted.

6. PAWS requires that a dog be visited at PARC at least 3 times before the adoption is approved. By this time, the dog and would-be adopter have gotten to know each other better.

7. Adoption counselors check if the dog is adjusting well to other family members, including other 4-legged members.   

ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD. Dogs Phil and James were happy to be adopted by acclaimed filmmaker Joey Reyes in 2011. They are pictured with PAWS's Anna Cabrera (right). Photo from the PAWS Facebook page

Adoption is the “happily ever after” of a shelter dog. 

If we just took one pet home from a shelter, that would make the world much less cruel than it was for these formerly abused and neglected animals.

Even they deserve another shot at love and a better life. –

(For more information, call PAWS at 475-1688 or visit PARC in Aurora Boulevard, Katipunan Valley, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. See updates and event information on the PAWS Facebook page.) 

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