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Responsible pet ownership

Pauline Songco

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Owner negligence is one of the many reasons why most pets end up in shelters and pounds. After months, even years for some reason, these owners come to realize that they cannot at all keep them in their lives. The pets end up experiencing separation anxiety as they are suddenly forced to live in a shelter where it can get loud and chaotic as compared to the place they once thought was their forever home.

The phrase “adopt, don’t shop” is a nationwide campaign of animal welfare groups that encourages owners to adopt pets in shelters and pounds rather than buying from stores. Though it may sound detrimental to pet owners who may have had their pets bought, but adopting pets rather than buying them has advantages, too.

Every time a shelter animal is adopted, a space for another dog or cat that needs to be rescued opens up. Additionally, you think that you’ll be saving them twice upon knowing that they came from an abusive home, that they were abandoned on the street or a victim of the animal meat industry.

On 8 July the Department of Agriculture — Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) has reminded the public to avoid patronizing animal breeders, traders and online sellers without Animal Welfare Certificate of Registration because they have received numerous complaints from people who bought animals who appeared healthy online but turned out to have serious health conditions.

To protect the public from these sellers, DA-BAI recommends to buy only from reputable pet sellers or breeders with Certification of Registration from BAI. Below are more tips from DA-BAI:
• Do not be a compulsive buyer, research as much as you can about the pet.

• Check if the pet is healthy as duly signed by a licensed veterinarian.

• Check if the vaccination and deworming records are updated and assigned by a licensed veterinarian.

• Have a written after sale agreements between you and the seller.

Most of all, DA-BAI recommends adopting pets from legitimate animal pounds and shelters from your area. One reason that owners go straight for breeders is because they want a dog or cat of a specific breed. Who knows, you can find your pet soulmate, with breed or not, at a shelter or pound.

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