PAWS continues to accept registrants for the PAWS Aspin Club at the PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center (PARC) Aurora Blvd., Katipunan Valley, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
For more details, please call 4751688, text 0917-8352405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aspin is IN!
We’ve seen it so often that most of us have begun to accept it as a way of life: purebred dogs are treated differently than native dogs even if they both live in the same house.
The native dogs stay outside & are tied up or caged for life, the perennial “bantay” in Filipino comic books. Bantay is usually brown and short-haired – the type of dog that you would usually see out in the streets. So its no surprise that he would always be referred to as “askal” (from the words “asong kalye” which means “street dog”) even if he lives with a family and is never allowed to stray outside.
Bantay is not the type of dog to be cuddled. Barking all the time, he is expected to be scary and to drive away intruders from one’s yard.
We have seen a lot of hero dogs on TV and in the movies. But Rin-Tin-Tin, Lassie, Benjie, Beethoven does not look like Bantay at all. So they must have been talking about a different dog when Western movies imparted those great home-grown values such as compassion and love for the dog who will give his life for its master.
On the other hand, Fluffy is a purebred shihtzu. She gets fed premium dog food and is taken for walks in the park. She is even brought to the mall to shop for clothes and to be groomed in a special salon. She sleeps inside the house and has her own accessory cabinet & doggie bed.
For VIDEO Native Dogs are just as obedient, smart and lovable as their purebred counterparts, click on this link:
THE UPHILL BATTLE FOR ASPINS
The contrast could not have been more glaring to a group that has been rescuing dogs for its entire existence.
PAWS, founded in 1954 and reactivated by Nita Hontiveros-Lichauco in 1986, saw that native dogs are often the victims of cruelty. It is the native dog who is always rounded up to be illegally transported to Baguio and eventually killed to be served as "pulutan".
Jokes about native dogs abound. One of them refer to the native dog as the Philippine “rice” dog because it eats only rice and leftovers. The purebred dogs of course, would only eat expensive wet dog food or dry kibble
With the goal of changing society's view of "askals", PAWS encourage people to bring native dogs to their various fundraising events.
For its Halloween pet costume contest, native dogs who came in their best outfits were given prizes and bragging rights as the "Halim-aw-aw Award" winner.
PAWS put a native dog heat in "The Great Dog Dash" where native dogs raced against one another to win a gold medal
What was even more groundbreaking was the native dog beauty pageant organized by PAWS in 2006. The top 10 finalists exemplified all the best qualities of the Filipino dog. Dubbed “Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa”, it had all the elements of a beauty contest - from the swimsuit category to the casual and evening wear competition. Former Ms. Universe and animal lover Gloria Diaz sat as the head of the judging panel.
For VIDEO, Pinakamagandang Hayop Contestants click on this link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SPUMDRgUIA
After talking to the guardians of the 10 finalists, PAWS began to see that there were a lot of people who shared the organization's love for the native dog. Among them is Nice Rodriguez who rescued Poypoy, a short-haired light brown native dog. Nice recalls that her neighbor used to be the official “owner” of Poypoy but he had left the dog to die of hunger in the streets.
Nice would regularly feed Poypoy and initially did not want to get attached to him. However, one day, Poypoy showed up with a big bruise on his neck which prompted Nice to adopt the dog for good. She had him treated by a vet and is now her faithful companion wherever she goes.
Nice taught Poy a lot of tricks including how to catch a frisbee. This talent eventually enabled him to become the lone native dog contestant in a Frisbee competition which saw Poypoy winning 3rd place in the Manila leg.
With the positive response it has been getting from these projects, PAWS embarked on a unique campaign called "See BEAUTY Beyond BREED" that featured popular celebrities Heart Evangelista & Jericho Rosales posing with native dogs from the PAWS Shelter.
The ads encouraged the use of the term “Aspin” (Asong Pinoy) instead of “Askal” and it showed that native dogs were just as cute, just as intelligent and just as loyal as their purebred counterparts.
The campaign was the first to use celebrities to help drive home a point directly to the average Filipino pet owner and it was a runaway success. Not only did all the animals that Heart and Echo posed with get adopted, it also boosted adoption rates and inquiries by as much as 30%. PAWS’ shelter staff also noticed an increase in the use of the now politically-correct term “Aspin”.
The Birth of the PAWS Aspin Club:
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