THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM: NOT SPAYING YOUR PETS
Many communities all over the country have long dealt with the issue of stray dogs and cats. For many years, the only programs that the local government units (LGUs) have in place are impounding activities and vaccination drives. Unfortunately, these measures only scratch the surface of the issue and do not preventively address the problem of homeless animals at its root.
Strays come from owned pets. Pets get pregnant or get other pets pregnant and once they give birth, people give the puppies and kittens away. There are always takers for the puppies but when they are all grown up, sometimes they end up on the streets. Spay-Neuter (SN) programs for stray dogs also do not address the problem of stray dogs who end up sick, with a contagious skin problem, or with transmissible venereal tumor since no one really brings them to the vet. The SN groups for stray dogs quickly realized that they are to run as “mini-shelters” themselves, and so they end up bringing the sick dogs to the vet. The SN groups for stray dogs will eventually run out of steam, enthusiasm, manpower, and funding, especially as long as owned pets keep reproducing. Owned pets, therefore, must be spayed or neutered to solve the problem of pet homelessness for the long term.
As part of its mission to prevent cruelty to animals and to offer sustainable solutions to the issue of stray dogs and cats in communities, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) has long promoted Spay-Neuter (Kapon) programs for companion animals. Since 2009, PAWS operates a low-cost spay-neuter clinic in Quezon City and gives free spay-neuter to indigent pet owners. In addition, its “KabaliCAT” project implements Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-and-Release (TNR) activities for managing stray cats in neighborhoods. Also, all dogs and cats that are available for adoption from PAWS animal shelters are spayed/neutered.
PAWS’ NEWEST INITIATIVE: “KAPON FOR ALL PETS”
PAWS’ newest campaign is its “Kapon for All Pets” program which proposes incentives to be offered by local government units to veterinary clinics operating within their cities and municipalities. A three-way partnership between PAWS and participating LGUs, the program seeks to provide free or affordable kapon procedures for pets owned by the LGUs’ constituents.
Participating veterinary clinics within the city or municipality will be working alongside the local government to implement the program. The LGUs that will take part in the program will be included on PAWS’ List of Progressive Kapon-friendly Cities and Municipalities, a list that the organization will be putting out on all of their social media channels in celebration of World Spay Day on February 22, 2022. The first ten (10) LGUs to implement the Kapon for All Pets fiscal and non-fiscal incentives will receive P50,000 worth of surgery materials from PAWS and a plaque of recognition as a “Pioneer KAPON FOR ALL PETS LGU Partner”.
PAWS believes that providing free or affordable kapon for pets is the long-term and sustainable solution to pet homelessness. It is not having bigger pounds, turning pounds into shelters, or putting up new signages proclaiming that a building is now an ‘animal rehabilitation center’. “Kapon for All Pets” is proof that private-public partnerships can promote animal welfare, which is directly connected to public health issues and the eradication of rabies. LGUs that are interested to work with PAWS to implement the “Kapon for All Pets” campaign within their jurisdiction may email PAWS’ Executive Director, Anna Cabrera at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) is a non-profit, non-government, volunteer-based organization dedicated to the promotion of kind treatment to animals and the prevention of animal cruelty through humane education. PAWS is the organization that lobbied for the country’s first Animal Welfare Act (RA 8485) and its amendment in 2013 to RA 10631. PAWS is an institutional member of the Department of Agriculture – Committee on Animal Welfare, which draws up rules and regulations on the proper treatment of animals.