MANILA, Philippines – It is an undeniable truth that pure-bred dogs are viewed with a much higher regard compared to those who are not, like the Askals (“asong kalye” or street dogs) or — as the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) likes to call them — the Aspins (“asong Pinoy” or Filipino dogs).
Aspins, or mixed-breed, native dogs often found in streets, are usually subjected to animal cruelty and disregard. According to the website of PAWS, even in houses, purebred dogs are treated differently from their mixed-breed native counterparts, even if they basically live in the same place.
Hence, in fulfillment of PAWS’ commitment of protecting animal life and promoting their humane treatment, the group launched the campaign “See Beauty Beyond Breed” which “aims to uplift the image of native dogs, popularize the term Aspins instead of Askals and to encourage people to consider adopting native dogs and cats from the PAWS shelter.”
Anna Cabrera, PAWS program director, says that reception to the campaign which initially featured celebrities Heart Evangelista and Jericho Rosales back in 2008 had been good, with an increase of as much as 30% in adoption rates and shelter inquiries. The PAWS shelter staff also noticed that the term Aspin increased in usage among their visitors and adopters.
The campaign encourages people to see Aspins the way they see their pure-bred counterparts, for they’re not entirely different from the other. RAPPLER Life & Style editor Kai Magsanoc adopted Aspin Bryan from the 2008 campaign poster with Heart. Bryan was rescued from abuse and the dog meat trade, after journalist Joan Maglipon reported Bryan’s case to PAWS. Bryan passed away last year and was laid to rest in PAWS, his forever home.
This year, the “See Beauty Beyond Breed” campaign returns with Heart joined by new dogs and even cats.
Cabrera says, “Our vision is that Aspins will not be treated as second-class canine citizens. People who claim to ‘love dogs’ should not be able to walk past an Aspin in need. We want people to appreciate the beauty of Aspins, mutts and mongrels. A native dog should not be viewed as less beautiful than a furry, pure-bred dog.” – Rappler.com
For more information on how to visit the PAWS shelter, volunteer and adopt, visit their Facebook page.
Click on the links below for more.