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‘No-kill’ policy ok’d, but dogs at pound still need help

Malou Perez photo

Even if the Bacolod City government has adopted a “no-kill policy” at the city pound, the dogs there still need food assistance, Malou Perez, founder of homegrown PAWSSion project, said.

“We’re very grateful the city heard our cry…we’re just waiting for the executive order. But you know, we were given assurance of no-kill,” she said.

Her group had earlier aired their opposition to the shooting to death of dogs at the pound.

She said while shooting dogs at the pound is legal in the country, “it’s so degrading and it’s so inhumane.”

“There are dogs in the pound because people call the city pound and ask them to catch the strays from their area, and the city pound cannot say no because it is their mandate. So again, while our city pound right now has a no-kill policy, there’s still not enough funding, for now, to continue feeding the strays,” she said.

“They will not be killed by gunshots, they will die of depression and starvation because there’s really not enough food for them,” she said.

She appealed to the public not to call the pound anymore and request for the catching of the strays in their area.

Perez also called on the public to help by adopting dogs at the pound.

To allay the fear of the public against rabid dogs, she also stressed the need for programs to prevent rabies.

“March is Rabies Awareness Month. We would like to remind everybody that you know, rabies is not inborn. It’s a virus and it’s preventable. If only we will have more free rabies vaccination drives, then, you know, we have peace of mind that the stays going around in the city are prevented from getting this virus,” she stressed.

She also stressed the need for stray animals to be spayed and neutered so they don’t overpopulate the city.

There are probably about 100,000 or more stray animals in Bacolod alone, so the ultimate solution is to have more free and subsidized spay and neuter programs.

PAWSSion Project was established in the city two years ago after Perez learned on Facebook that 50 dogs in the city pound were scheduled to be shot to death.

The group, which also has a shelter in Bulacan, has rescued over 1,000 dogs in Bacolod and other parts of the country, Perez said.

“We continue to raise awareness of the reality and the plight of stray animals, and even pets. There are so many abandoned pets. Pets are being surrendered, especially now in the middle of a pandemic, because people are losing jobs and sources of income. So they resort to surrendering their pets. And it’s heartbreaking. Because, you know, for us, animal advocates and animal lovers, pets are family. You don’t give up your son, you don’t give up your daughter when things are hard. Or you don’t give up your kid or grandmother if they’re sick,” she lamented.

FOSTER KIDS

Perez said that she has around 30 dogs under her care who came from “foster fails.”

She also adopted three stray dogs – Aya, Nala, and Kumpol – whom she has fed every night since the COVID-19 lockdown started last year.

“Through our stray feeding, many people have been messaging us from other parts of the Philippines that they have been feeding strays also because they were inspired,” she said.

“This means so much to me because that means more animals are able to survive…It may be just one meal, or it may be our leftover lunch, but for stray animals, it’s everything for them. It may be their only meal for the day,” she said.*

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