Saturday, 30 August 2008

The Poor Dogs of Sto. Tomas

Sweepy's Keeper will surely cry when she sees those dogs being locked up at Barangay Santo Tomas in Pasig City. I see them inside their "cell" right in front of the barangay hall when I go to work each morning- and take note, there are different dogs each week. The tanod ( a sort of peace officer) told me that the mayor does not like to see dogs loitering in the street, and so these animals are captured and given three or five days to be redeemed by their owners before
they are brought to the Pasig City Dog Pound.

Rabies is still rampant in the Philippines so I understand the necessity of animal population control. The problem is, I dont think Sto. Tomas is equipped to keep stray dogs even on a temporary basis. The dogs are crammed inside a single cell that has no adequate roofing to protect them from heat and rain; there is no water bowl in sight and the dogs have barely food to eat. I feel so bad for these dogs, and worse that I cannot get them out of their miserable lot.

Finally, on Wednesday, the Animal Doctor decided to visit Santo Tomas. He gathered plastic bottles and ice cream containers at home and recycled them into food and water bowls for the dogs; old shower curtains to cover their cage, and dog food.

The dogs did not wait any second and pounce on the food.

Not the regular garbage fare, but it stops the tummy from grumbling.

A little love goes a long way.

This doggy is wondering if his owner will come for him today.

They say misery loves company.

I get an ouchy standing on my paws, this cage could use some plastic matting.

Of course, feeding the impounded dogs and making sure that they are comfortable is just a temporary fix. I need to write the city veterinarian and inquire how these dogs are being "disposed". The Rabies Act of 2008 prohibits electrocution as a means to dispose unclaimed dogs in the pound, and even requires them to be placed on adoption by the local government unit in coordination with animal welfare non governmental organizations ( NGOs).

Now, you must know that the Animal Doctor is a busy guy, not even a badly needed haircut can make him leave Greenwoods Pet Clinic. What he did for the dogs of Santo Tomas last Wednesday was a big favor for me(never mind that it was on account of my persistent whining over the phone) since I could not leave my work. I am making a mental note to cook him his favorite pasta this weekend.

Next, the Animal Doctor picked up Sweepy's gift exchange for me. In case you're wondering, Sweepy is a dog I met online while I was looking for blogs by other mongrel dogs in the Philippines. At first I thought Sweepy was an angel dog because he said he lives in Heaven which turned out to be a place in San Pedro, Laguna. If you read Sweepy's blog, he 's hardly the angelic type. I laugh my heart out reading about his crazy antics, and those of his brother Bogart and pop Sumo too. He calls me his girlfriend because I sent him some gifts lately ( giggles), but this is what I like best:

Yes, Sweepy gave me a tarpaulin banner with his cute picture on it and his barkings of how people should be responsible keepers of their pets. The full text of Sweepy's barkings will be reproduced in our sidebar soon! The Animal Doctor hanged the banner in front of our clinic so people would take interest and read it. Sweepy also gave me a CD containing his power point presentation about responsible pet ownership. (I wish I could bring this to Santo Tomas and teach people about it so there will be no stray dogs for the Tanod to catch). I learned a very important lesson from Sweepy's Keeper: its not so much the cruelty and unkindness of humans that bring suffering to the animals, but ignorance. Berating irresponsible people will only make them defensive, while gentle persuasion might do the trick.

My best friend Noreen who is in the United States right now will be happy to read this too. She is crazy about dogs. She and husband Lito had their church wedding recently and I was surprised when she donated to me some of the money they received as wedding present. She wanted me to spend it on my animal welfare projects.

Even blogger helps me earn pennies to enable Greenwoods Pet Clinic to treat indigent animal patients. We refer to them as such not because they have poor owners ( after all, we are in a class A subdivision) but because their owners refuse to spend for their dog's healthcare. Sometimes we get owners deciding to forgo treatment since the dog is just an askal ( a Filipino slang for mongrel). It breaks my heart to send sick dogs back home to die so I plea to the Animal Doctor to treat them even if their owners don't pay! Instead of crying, the incredulity of the situation ( that these dogs' owners have more money than us) makes us laugh, and so we just pray for good karma in return. Oh, I digress but while I am in this, I mights as well indulge myself in shameless advertising: you can help our Indigent Animal Patients Fund by purchasing reviews in our blog ( calling our suppliers!)

Thank you guys. Even the tiniest act of kindness can make a huge impact in the lives of helpless, suffering creatures. Our goal is to enable them to live a good life, one paw, er, one step at a time. Cheers!


  1. Woofy!
    Greenwoods Clinic, I heard your barkings and here I go running with your barkings to the houndsinheaven patrol!

    Those dogs in Sto. Tomas are NOT fit to be in THAT Cage! Oh, how Keeper cried and almost died in Pure Anger. Just wait till Keeper barks to them. Right now, she is waiting for morning so she can call some peeps. Cruel people watch out!

    Thanks Greenwoods for the food and water. It made a lot of difference and you know what, kindness like that will surely go a long way...

    You are a SuperHero in my drool!

    The SuperDog

  2. The SecretarySeptember 01, 2008

    Oh, thank you, thank you Sweepy! I know we can count on you and your Keeper.

    I had to edit this post the moment I arrived in Manila. Our dial up connection in Iloilo is painfully sloooow. Now I understand what your Keeper is fussing about. hehe.

    Oh one important thing, I am curious what happens to the dogs in the pound. The tanod from Sto. Tomas informed me that the dogs we fed last time were already transfered to the Pasig Dog Pound. I asked someone to confirm with the pound but only two dogs were delivered there. So what happened to the rest? Sweepy, I am scared that some hanky panky is going on. What if these dogs get slaughtered or sold to the dog meat traders by the tanods themselves???


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