[February 21, 2014] Dogs Paopao and Brownie - both owned by Nanay Donata Alonzo (in cover photo) - were among the 105 animals neutered today at the PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center. Indigent pet owners trooped to PAWS as early as 6:00 am to avail of free neuter/spay services ("libreng kapon") for their pets. Shelter veterinarian, Dr. Wilford Almoro, and volunteer veterinarians, Dr. Aris Hapatinga and Dr. Maripi Diaz of SJ Vets worked with a team of three (3) clinic assistants and twenty five (25) PAWS volunteers to bring this service to the poor. Thank you to Supporting Members and donors for making SPAY DAY possible!
As early as four (4) days after Super Typhoon Yolanda, PAWS in cooperation with International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) responders who flew in from their head office in Massachussetts, US, was able to reach so-called “Ground Zero” of the disaster- Tacloban. Conditions were bad, where even relief did not reach humans and there were still human bodies uncollected in the streets- even one kilometer away from the airport. The PAWS-IFAW Team observed that the animals who survived seemed fairly able to still gather food. Among the tragic scenes they came across were the many companion animals who drowned because they were tethered and the bodies of pets lovingly covered by blankets by their surviving human families.
IFAW informed PAWS that the body conditions of the surviving dogs will start to deteriorate at least 3 to 4 weeks after the disaster, when the animals have finished up eating whatever food can be foraged in the vicinity. True enough, when our 4th and 5th teams visited the same area last November 29th, no animal refused the dry food that our team gave them.
Being the first team of animal responders on the ground for Tacloban City, the PAWS-IFAW Disaster Relief and Emergency Response Team immediately did feeding of animals in the affected area as they went on about their Rapid-Assessment work. After several flight delays, the said team just arrived from their Tacloban-Cebu-Manila flight at 1:30 am today and team members are currently meeting with individuals and agencies to come up with a strategic distribution of food and medical help for animals by next week.
We need your help to continue with our rescue and relief operations
The PAWS-IFAW Disaster Response Team headed out to Bohol on October 19, 2013 to conduct an assessment of the effects of the earthquake in the area and to check on the conditions of the animals. It was a gruelling 6-hour per day road trip to get from Tagbilaran, Bohol to Loon, Bohol, while conducting a visual headcount of the animals through the baranggays and towns that were affected along the way.
It was heart-wrenching to see homes turned into rubble and one can only imagine the magnitude it took to shake these concrete structures down. Many residents were living in tents put up in open field with signs asking for food and water. As in many rural areas, many of the dogs would be seen in the streets or tagging along behind their owners as they tried to go about their farming or line up for relief distribution in the town halls. Generally, the dogs were in good condition and valued as part of their families. For a few of the dogs and cats that the team encountered, they were still skittish and showed signs of nervousness – probably from the initial shock of the earthquake or having to continually feel the aftershocks on a daily basis.
President Benigno Aquino III has signed into law a measure increasing the penalties for acts of cruelty against animals.
During a press conference Tuesday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino signed last October 3 Republic Act 10631 or the act amending certain sections of Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998.
"Notable among the amendments of 10631 would be the increase in penalties, as well as offenses counted under this act," she said.
Under RA 10631, the abandonment of an animal in a person's custody shall now be considered an offense.
This, along with other acts of cruelty, neglect, and maltreatment, shall be punishable by:
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) on Friday urged President Benigno Aquino to sign into law the amended Animal Welfare Act.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society or PAWS is a non-government, volunteer-based animal welfare organization that has been at the forefront of lobbying for animals to be included in disaster-relief and evacuation programs.
"Animals are important to many people - as companions, as sources of livelihood," says May Felix-Razon, PAWS Disaster-Relief and Emergency Response Team Head. "Therefore, it makes sense that animals are included in disaster-relief efforts."
On August 21, 2013, PAWS volunteers went to the SAWS Animal Shelter in Bacoor, Cavite to give relief to the 50 dogs and 20 cats there. Volunteers also helped clean the said shelter which was covered in mud after being badly-hit by floods (water that overflowed from the nearby creek) at the height of Typhoon Maring.
On August 23 and 24, the team headed to Brgy Congbalay-Legaspi Binakayan, and Brgy Sama, Marquez Kawit, Cavite to provide human and animal relief to victims of the typhoon.
At 78, Virginia Romero has seen quite a few battles in life, but her latest still rekindles the passion of her younger years.
“Ako na lang ang ikulong nila (They might as well put me behind bars),” she says defiantly of Ordinance No. 13, S-97, that “bans the (ownership) of animals in settlement or resettlement areas.” The law was passed in 1997 by the City Council of Marikina City.
Romero, who has been living in the city’s resettlement area since 1994, had to surrender one of her dogs recently when it bit a neighbor who lives just a few meters away. But the elderly laundrywoman still keeps three dogs and a couple of cats in the 24-square-meter house that she shares with a son.
Nobody can take the remaining animals from her, she vows in a virtual declaration of war on the city government, a sentiment shared by her other pet-owning neighbors.
According to officials implementing the ordinance, keeping pets in a small cramped space where relocated residents live would be unhealthy. The residents were informal settlers living on the banks of the Marikina River who were resettled by then Marikina mayor Bayani Fernando in pocket-sized houses just big enough for a toilet and bath.
Complaints about the law have reached the City Veterinarian’s Office (CVO), says city vet Dr. Manuel “Bobot” Carlos. Similar complaints about seized animals that pet owners are no longer allowed to retrieve have also flooded the office of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), he adds.
OLIVE CAUNAN, PRIB
Reposted from http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2013/0606_prib2.asp
The Senate today (June 6, 2012) approved on third and final reading a bill which seeks to impose higher penalties on persons found guilty of animal cruelty, maltreatment and neglect.
In his sponsorship speech, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Food and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 3329, said the proposed legislation also seeks to "make unlawful" the killing of animals other than cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabaos, horses, deer and crocodiles with "certain exceptions."
He said several amendments on animal torture and abandonment were introduced to the 14-year-old Animal Welfare Act. The measure was introduced by Pangilinan and Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago, Gregorio Honasan II and Manny Villar.