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Animal neglect is considered a criminal offense in the Philippines yet cases of it are nowhere near the ground.

Weeks into 2022, local shelter Pawssion Project had taken in almost 30 surrendered dogs. In a social media post, it shared that one owner initially wanted to have his pets sent to the pound as he can no longer afford to take care of them.

“You will never understand why we strongly advocate for adoption, responsible pet ownership and spay and neuter, not until you see the realities we experience every day,” Malou Perez, Pawssion Project founder, said.

Stray animals or surrendered pets who end up in pounds are traumatized and sick. Worse, they are scheduled for euthanasia. As much as shelters wanted to care for all rescues, they are filled to the brim and can only accommodate a few at a time.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF IUNSPLASH/GIULIA MAY
abandonment takes a toll on the animals’ well-being.

“When you take a pet on you should always consider the long-term impact on you, your family, finances and travel. It shouldn’t be taken lightly,” Dr. Susan Aylott, veterinarian and director of Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi, said.

Oftentimes, pet owners cite lack of experience, disinterest, animal age, behavior issues, financial capacity and health concerns as reasons for abandoning animals. This responsibility may be too much for a person to bear. Its effects, however, also take a heavy toll on the animals’ well-being.

“Animals experience fear, anger, upset, hurt and, as a reaction to that they have a stress response, which causes emotional and physical issues,” Dr. Aylott said.

Humans often do not realize that animals, whether strays, owned or previously-owned, are capable of feeling a wave of emotions that most people do. Though they can’t talk, animals have feelings and are very much able to give love and care even to those who don’t deserve it.

Stress due to neglect should be the last thing that they should experience.

Surrendered dogs at Pawssion Project will undergo rehabilitation, spay and neuter before they will be put up for adoption.

“No matter how good your intention is in the beginning, if you end up neglecting their needs or worse, giving them up, please limit rescuing and adopting or worse, buying,” Perez added.

People interested to adopt should visit your local shelters or pawssionproject.org.ph and paws.org.ph.

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