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Help the Animals! Volunteer!

Posted by siyerwin on Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Attend the PAWS Volunteer Orientation!

Day: Saturday
Date: May 2, 2009
Time: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Place: PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center (PARC)

For all of you who are thinking about volunteering, now is the time to act. Help PAWS help the animals by stepping forward and getting involved in the animal welfare cause here in the Philippines.

PAWS will be having an applicant volunteers orientation on May 2, 2009, Saturday at the PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center, from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Print out the PAWS volunteers application form and submit it personally to the shelter on or before the orientation date.

What can you do as a PAWS volunteer?

There are a ton of work to be done and you will need to be prepared to sweat it out. Working for the animals is no glamorous job but if you are cut out for it, these will be some of your reward:

rescue cat shaun and Mary Ann Rescue cat Shaun and adopted human Mary Ann are all smiles (I know cats. That's a smile) because they found each other. Shaun was rescued by PAWS in the middle of EDSA, the busiest street in the Philippines, on the brink of dehydration and death. Now he's safely home with loving humans to boot! No more highways for this cat. (Read Shaun's cat rescue story)

adopted dog Jasmine home at the farmJasmine, a former shelter dog, likewise, is all smiles in his new home with Marla Nicandro, who's also an active PAWS volunteer. Yes, as a PAWS volunteer you have the option of rewarding yourself by taking home a rescue dog or cat (or both)! Isn't that neat? (Read Jasmine-related posts: Her cat adoption story and adoption update.

PAWS Dr. Dog, UP PGHHumans helping animals, animals helping humans... Yes, animals volunteer to help us, too. Love, after all, is still a two-way street. Volunteer for PAWS' animal-assisted therapy or Dr. Dog program and see the sweetest smiles from both the children (program recipients) and animals.

Interested yet? (I have more photos to share! I will just continue add them in the coming days)

To get more ideas about the specific things that you can do for the animals, please check out my post about what you can do as a PAWS volunteer.

To be honest, the shelter's most urgent need right now are volunteers willing to handle administrative/clerical/housekeeping work at the PAWS shelter office. The shelter is currently running on a skeletal (that means 2 to 3) all-volunteer daily work force and most of the time is spent taking care of the approximately 200 shelter animals and so the paper work tends to pile up. Sign up for this job and you get extra hugs from the shelter cats and dogs (and even fellow volunteers)!!! :)

Below is the official invitation from PAWS. Thanks for your time and hope to see you at the shelter!!! :)

Dear all,

Please be informed that the Orientation for PAWS Volunteer Applicants will be on Saturday, May 2, 2009, 10 am to 1pm at the PAWS Shelter in Aurora Boulevard, Katipunan Valley, Loyola Heights, QC (see map at

Applicants for volunteers must be willing to share at least 8 hours per month of their time doing work for the animals ( i.e. shelter work, manning PAWS booths, dog training/socializat ion, visiting schools or hospitals; or work from home creating PAWS flyers, posters, adoption write-ups, writing campaign letters or doing clerical work for the PAWS office, etc)

Please note that those who have been unable to attend Volunteer Orientation for the second or third time, despite having been informed ahead of the orientation dates, will already have to re-submit their application forms.

Accomplished volunteer application forms (forms available at have to be handcarried to PARC during office hours or sent by snail mail to: 87 Small Horseshoe Drive, New Manila, QC 1112 ahead of the Orientation Date. No faxed or emailed forms please.

Thank you for wanting to share your time and effort for the animals! See you on May 2!

-The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

Images on this post courtesy of Mary Ann Ligaya, Marla Nicandro and PAWS.

If you're looking for pictures of shelter animals up for adoption, please go to following shelter dog galleries maintained by PAWS volunteers May Angela Felix and Marla Nicandro:

May Angela Felix's Galleries
Filipino Dog Marcus Waiting for a Loving Home and Family
New Dogs on the Block
Cho and her 5 Puppies!
Rowena and Flipper Having a Jolly Good Time!

Marla Nicandro's Gallery
PAWS Dogs for Adoption

Please read the Cat and Dog Adoption Procedure if you're interested in adopting

Pet Adoption Stories

Posted by siyerwin on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 8:18 PM

Below are two dog adoption stories which I got from the PAWS mailing list. I asked permission from the authors so I can post them here.

The first one came from Drae Ybanez on his adoption of Luther, a yellow Labrador he got from a vet who was selling him.

As you probably have noticed, I am not a fan of buying dogs from dog breeders (most especially from pet stores that sell live animals) but that will not stop me from recognizing the fact that there are people who are true animal lovers who treat their companion animals as equals and as family regardless of whether they were bought or rescued. Drae has a proven track record as he is also a PAWS volunteer who has helped shelter animals and has adopted a rescue dog (Related post: Drae and Trixie's dog adoption story).

>>>Go read Luther's dog adoption story

The second story came from Joyce Lagdameo and she wrote it in response to fellow cat-lover Jessica Zafra's Pets Make Us Human writing challenge where she asked her readers to write about how they met their pets and submit to her blog. This is in support of the Purina-PAWS campaign.

>>>Go read Lucky's dog adoption story

If you're looking for pictures of shelter animals up for adoption, please go to following shelter dog galleries maintained by PAWS volunteers May Angela Felix and Marla Nicandro:

May Angela Felix's Galleries
Filipino Dog Marcus Waiting for a Loving Home and Family
New Dogs on the Block
Cho and her 5 Puppies!
Rowena and Flipper Having a Jolly Good Time!

Marla Nicandro's Gallery
PAWS Dogs for Adoption

Please read the Cat and Dog Adoption Procedure if you're interested in adopting

A Tribute To My Dog, Luther by Drae W. Ybanez

I’ve just seen the movie Marley and Me. I thought it was another “chick-flick.” I thought it was another lame, quite funny movie of Owen Wilson. All of my “I thoughts” were wrong because turned out to be an extraordinary movie about a dog named Marley. I hate dog movies. But this dog movie wasn’t like the rest (you know, the talking parts). I won’t tell the story here but with this blog is to honor my Marley named Luther. Officially, he’s my first dog. Funny because Marley and Luther look so much alike except that my dog Lab is much bigger.


I bought Luther from a vet who was selling it for a good price. He is a yellow lab with oversized paws, which predicts how big it’s going to be. Choosing from the litter, his two white spots on his shoulder and powder face made him a standout. I brought him home to the old condominium in Valley Golf where I used to live. It was the greatest time of my life. His fluffy hair and puppy-piss smell brought me excitement. I tried to toilet-train him that night but it seems he was wanted to pee and soil every corner of my room. He was constantly whining that night finding his “spot” until he finally nestled on my pillow on top of my head. I felt peaceful, finally.

When I woke up the next day I had a wet feeling on my head and the foul smell of pee and dung overwhelmed the atmosphere. He peed on my pillow. And where in the world did his feces come from? He had three mountain-sized dirt waiting for me to demolish. Oh boy, this is not funny. My eyes were still half shut when he peeked from below like that surprise box with a stupid clown on a spring. “Good morning Daddy! I redecorated your boring flat.” He had a huge grin on his face with his elastic tongue hanging out. It’s hard to explain how I felt. Part of me wanted to pinch him and say “cute” while the other part of me wanted to skin him alive.

That day I had to leave him for the first time because of work. We had to practice. I sent him out of the terrace and closed the sliding door. I pretended I walked out and spied if he would howl and cry. I waited for a minute. And then another. And another. He was behaved like an obedient schoolboy in other words, Patay na bata ;) Hurray! This is going to work! It didn’t. That night I had a call from a neighbor asking me to hurry home because this irate American missionary from Faith Academy named Clinton (I won’t be surprised if he’s related to the ex-president) posted a threat on my door. I arrived and saw the hate mail. It was scribbled in black marker that said something like “I will kill your dog.” I went inside my flat and noticed the dead silence. But as soon as I opened the lights, MY GOD everything was a mess. Tsunami was in my room. He broke all my pots. He pooped maybe ten times. He peed everywhere. He chewed on all the plants and rags and the… I can’t even figure out what it used to be… Poor Luther was sitting quietly in front of me with the multi-awarded puppy eyed look. That night I abandoned my flat and moved back to my parents’ house. (I’m still struggling to forgive that Clinton by the way.) Either Clinton will kill Luther or I will kill him first for being such a jerk. Of course I wasn’t kidding. But every new day, the intensity of anger goes down.

As a little puppy Luther found comfort in my presence. Although I think it was extreme because he would never leave my side whenever I walk. He had to be beside me needed to touch my leg whenever I walk. I thought it was sweet but eventually it got irritating. I would trip at times because he would run after me. Good thing he got over it.

Luther grew up at my parents’ house with his black Lab sister, *Lucy Pevensie, that I also bought (for my brother). It wasn’t safe for me to let them lose because of the house renovation so most of the time they were on leash. I wasn’t proud of that. Eventually Lucy had to be with my brother’s house so Luther was pretty lonely. He stayed in the cage most of the time. It breaks my heart not to be able to take him out for a walk. And when I would, he just breaks lose like a crazy maniac. He was too ecstatic to be out of his dungeon. I too am happy when I see that. So to make up for my shortcomings I would put him to sleep whenever he barks at night. I would sing him a lullaby until he falls asleep. It works every time.

Finally our house renovation ended. As a treat I took Luther to our rooftop where we laid on the floor and just stargazed. It was an extraordinary night. I got all dirtied by lying on the floor but the experience was just intense. Luther too loved that treat. He told me “finally you’re learning how to be a good pet-owner.” We both laughed.

At present, Luther is joined by Trixie, the miracle dog. I adopted her from PAWS last year and she turned out to be a great companion for Luther. Like a baby sister Trixie annoys Luther all the time. She bites his ear, competes with him on Frisbee and just lavishes on him. Luther is so much happier now.

A recent addition to the family was Douglas (formerly Kulas). He’s a puppy German shepherd that was given to us. He now annoys Trixie. So the cycle is now complete.

I would like to end by saying that I equally love my dogs so much. However, I can’t claim to be the most responsible owner as well. In all my shortcomings I apologize to my dogs. But I also would like to thank my mom who fills that void I create. Sniff sniff this is too mushy. Anyway, I leave you with this from Marley and Me:

A dog has no use for fancy cars
Or big homes or designer clothes
A waterlog stick will do just fine
A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor
Clever or dull, smart or dumb
Give ‘em your heart and he’ll give you his
How many people can you say that about?
How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special?
How many people can make you feel extraordinary?

*Lucy passed away two years ago due to a poisoning of some sort. Probably a frog… I miss Lucy. She’s extra hyper as compared to Luther. She was fatter but smaller. Her black hair was like that of a horse. I rushed her to the hospital and she was in IV. As I was leaving she forced herself to look at me. She was already in a vegetable state. I didn’t know it was her last day. I should have just stayed there longer…

Lucky's Adoption Story by Joyce Lagdameo

One hot summer day, I was walking along my street and noticed a white dog I had not seen before. It caught my attention because I knew the name and face of every dog that lived on my street (there were many), and this certainly was not one of them. I observed the dog lying down in the shade, but then getting up each time it noticed someone coming its way. It would approach the person, scrutinize the person’s face and seemed to be begging for food or to be taken home. I put it out of my mind, thinking that this was probably just a dog that had lost its way but would eventually get itself home. It looked healthy and had no visible injuries, so I was not too worried about it.

A couple of days later, I noticed the same dog, still on our street -- and started to become worried about it. It had taken to eating the leftovers of my neighbor’s dogs every night (my neighbor was compassionate enough to leave the remaining food out for it), and slept under various cars parked on the street during the day. Another dog-loving neighbor, with three dogs of his own, baptized the dog Lucky, for it had an incredibly large head (“laki-ulo eh!”).

Both had tried to capture the dog on several occasions, but it always seemed to give them the slip. Still, it lingered nearby, taking whatever food was offered to it and not aggressing towards any human or dog.

Although Lucky was apparently being fed by various neighbors, I was concerned that living on the street posed too many dangers. I decided that I would try my hand at rescuing this dog, and I started by offering it morsels of food during the day, to get it accustomed to me. After a few days of doing this, Lucky, who turned out to be a girl, would voluntarily approach me every time she would see me coming. One day, instead of offering her the food, I made a trail of it -- Hansel and Gretel style -- leading into my garage. She took the bait and walked into my garage where I then snapped a leash and collar on her, with the assistance yet another neighbor whom I involved in my mission.

It has been 7 years since I plucked Lucky off the street and washed what seemed like layers upon layers of car grease off her. She is alive and well today, living at a large house with a sprawling garden and her very own mini-lake in the middle of it. She is extremely loving, alert, intelligent and responsive to human instruction. With a Labrador named Elcid and a cat named Muning to play with, she is currently living her happily-ever- after in her forever home.

P.S. Lucky looked EXACTLY like the dog in the Purina Homeless, Not Worthless commercial when I first saw her, and was living in EXACTLY the same conditions. Today, she is clean, fat, sheltered and happy. What a difference a home makes.

Joyce R. Lagdameo
March 30, 2009

Pets as Giveaways: A Cruel Practice During Easter

Posted by siyerwin on Sunday, April 05, 2009 at 4:19 PM

A little reminder for everyone looking forward to the Holy Week observance. While this time of the year probably gives a little breathing room for many food animals out there (since Philippines is a predominantly Catholic, whose members are obliged to abstain from meat), there is still that thing that we do during the celebration of Easter that we need to watch out for.

Every Easter, many commercial establishments go on hyper-drive promotional activities that should be all good except that they are sometimes cruel to pet animals.

Imagine this:

You and your family go out to celebrate Easter by going to the mall to join the festivities. You arrive there, go have some fun, perhaps hunt for a few Easter eggs and win prizes. Great! But wait... Did I hear them say I won an Easter bunny or chick? A real live bunny? A rabbit? A chick?

Oh, neat. But does it come with a cage? How do we carry it around being that we are planning to head on to the park after this to spend some more quality time? Can we leave it inside the car? It won't poop inside my car, will it? What if it gets sick? Will it bite?

Are you seeing the picture here? Can you guess how these things usually end up?

The fact is having live animals as pets is not as simple as winning a toy prize. Pets are not toys because they entail a lot of responsibility. Giving live animals as prizes or giveaways is cruel because the animals get the raw end of the deal when the are given to people who most likely are unprepared for the things that come with having pet animals in their lives.

I have been told of stories of bunnies suffocating to death after being left inside parked cars in the basements of malls that gave them away to the unwitting mall goers. I'm pretty sure there are more such occurrences out there.

Do not support business establishments that resort to this cruel promotional gimmicks. If you see them doing this, let them know your protest.

One more thing: Don't buy pets from these Philippine malls!!!!

I found some great stuff about this topic from this Rabbit Rescue website. Let me just quote a part of one of their articles:

The end result of almost all Easter rabbits is usually one of:

  • The rabbit dies within weeks, from unintentional neglect or cruelty, due to mishandling, improper diet, unrecognized illness, etc

  • The rabbit is kept in an outdoor hutch and forgotten about, and lives a substantially shortened life from lack of care and love (see housing)

  • The rabbit is kept caged indoors with no opportunity for exercise, and lives a shortened life from atrophy and general distress (see health and playtime)

  • The rabbit is set loose outside (this is a death sentence - the average life expectancy for a domestic rabbit released in the wild is three days, and it dies a horrible death from predators or thoughtless humans)

  • The rabbit is brought to a shelter, where chances are good it will be euthanized if no one adopts it quickly

  • The rabbit is killed by its owner because it is an inconvenience (see the alerts page for some examples of this)

  • The rabbit dies before its first birthday, usually due to ignorance or improper care

Some More Rabbit Facts:

- Rabbits, like cats and dogs and any other pet animals, are big responsibilities. They live almost as long as cats and dofs and are not "low-maintenance" pets

- They are a poor choice as a pet for children (they have germs, they bite and scratch!)

- Your home must be bunny-proofed or they will wreak havoc and chew your furniture and your electrical cords

- They must be neutered and spayed or else they will do what they do in the wild: mark territories (urinate on stuff) and multiply (make little baby bunnies)

- Pet rabbits are indoor animals and you should keep them there. They will die within days outside!

Bunnies at Easter: A Sad Story
3 Bunnies Rabbit Rescue
Easter Bunny' Fever: Don't Catch It! - Bunny picture above courtesy of this site

Related Post: Looking for a pet?

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