So everyone who knows me, knows how passionate I am about animals. Currently, we have 7 pets: 2 German Shepherds, 2 Shih Tzus, 2 hamsters, and a rabbit. My mom does all the hardwork for taking care of the dogs while I care for my little hamsters and rabbit.I also lost my very first Shih Tzu a couple of days after Ondoy and a German Shepherd 9 months after that.
This post is inspired by a recent trip I had over the weekend. Love, Elena, and I went to Batangas to attend the Pinagbayanan Exhibit in San Juan but the bad weather kept us in Lipa instead. As we boarded the bus to Lipa, we were appalled to find out that there was this guy who took the bus and placed his goat in the storage area of the bus (not sure what it’s called, but it’s where the bags are put during the trip). I am not a goat but I know how hot it is in there. So Love made small talk with the goat’s owner and said that it was “safe” to put the goat there since it was also put there when they traveled all the way from Isabela to Manila. Dear Lord, I cannot imagine how inhumane this is! Elena tried to make light of the situation and told me that this is the life the goat was meant to live. For me, it’s not enough. Putting a goat inside the compartment where the vehicle’s machine is is pure torture. If it were up to me, I’d put that goat owner inside with his goat so he’d know how it feels. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time I saw this happen.
A month ago, my family and I were on our way home to Manila from Pangasinan and this family was about to board an ordinary bus (you know, the one without the air-conditioning system) and they had a dog in tow. It wasn’t an aspin, the dog was a cross between a Lhasa Apso and a Shih Tzu, not sure which of the two. Since animals are not allowed inside buses, the conductor suggested they put the dog inside the compartment too! Good thing the family refused. But they still didn’t know how to care for their pet as the mom tried to lift the dog by the leash, choking the dog through her collar. The little girl also dragged her pet as they walked towards the bus. I mean, is this even legal?
I know animals are not a priority in this country and it sucks that animal rights are not as big an issue as in the United States. Because of this, I am now, more than ever, determined to apply as a volunteer at the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). This is something that I had been wanting to do since college and hopefully, this time my plan will push through. I have the time and I think I have enough resources to do charity work by this time. To give you a briefer on what volunteers do, here is a list of the different activities volunteers can participate in (From PAWS):
Office Assistant – Man the office, process adoption paperwork (including counseling), answer the telephone and assist callers and visitors with general questions/directions. This includes giving a tour of PARC to visitors and guests, informing them on the role of the animal shelter in educating the public and creating awareness on the plight of the animals in the country and what they can do to help.
Admitting – Monitor rescue operations and incoming animals and assist in completing necessary paperwork and animal database including taking photos and data encoding.
Direct Animal Care – Assist approved adopters, walk the dogs and/or puppies, socialize the cats/kittens, clean cages, help with feeding, bathing, medication and basic grooming as needed.
Adoption Team – members of this team do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to get more “exposure” for shelter animals and tell their stories to increase their chances of getting adopted. Some members are also bloggers who try to utilize the web to spread the word about adoption! You can become part of the team by simply blogging!
Match-Maker – Works side by side with the adoption team, the matchmaker matches animals with adopters who are looking for a particular breed or breed mix, personality traits, specific size, sex or age.
Adoption Follow-up – Monitors adoption cases to see how the animals and their guardians are getting along. The program was developed to assure fewer returned animals. These calls may be made from home or office.
Clinic Technician Assistant – Assist PARC veterinarian in the clinic. This includes preparing medications and assist in spaying and/or neutering of shelter animals. Proper training and close monitoring of the veterinarian is strictly implemented.
Foster Care – Care for shelter animals in your home. These animals are future adoption candidates too young or ill at the time of admission. All medicine and supplies will be provided by PARC. Additional training is required.
Animal Rescue Team – rescues animals in distress
Dog Training and Rehabilitation Team – Works in close coordination with volunteer trainers and senior volunteers/dog handlers with the task of making shelter dogs fit for adoption by socializing them and working on their behavioral problems like aggression, fear or shyness. Interested volunteers should have pre-exposure shots and should undergo special training with our volunteer trainers and dog behaviorists.
Campaigns – complements all the major projects of the organization with flyers, posters, celebrity endorsements, organizing protest rallies, etc
Dr. Dog (Pet-Facilitated Therapy) – Together with certified Dr. Dogs, volunteers visit nursing homes, adult day-care centers, hospitals, schools and other establishments. They give patients the feeling that they are the most special people in world. With a loyal new friend who won’t judge them for the way they look or their illness, a Dr. Dog accepts them regardless of class, race, age or disability. Despite the advances in medical science, our Dr. Dog partners agree that love is still the best medicine!
Spay-Neuter Team – main goal: raise its own funds to be able to offer free spay-neuter to those who cannot afford even PAWS’ low cost spay-neuter rates. (Done in close coordination with Shelter Veterinarian)
Special Events – Represent PAWS in local events where PAWS is actively participating, helps in manning adoption booths and selling paws merchandise.
Disaster Relief – Assist the disaster relief team in the disaster site or at command posts.
Fundraising Events – Help out in organizing events to raise funds for the shelter.
Lobbying and legal work – meeting with government officials, attending hearings, giving legal assistance to those who want to file cases against animal offenders
Reminder: Volunteers must be prepared to render at least eight (8) hours a month doing work at the shelter or outside the shelter for animal welfare to be in our active volunteer database.
Personally, I would like to try all aspects of volunteering especially those that create public awareness. I can see myself campaigning, lobbying, and educating the public to be more aware of how animals are being abused and how we can take care of these poor creatures. Just don’t put me in the Animal Rescue team because my heart is too weak to see first-hand the state abused animals are in. And I also cannot be around when animals are euthanized. I’ve witnessed it once and I cannot bear to do it again.
*Photo taken from PAWS