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Breaking The Habit

Philippine Askals: Adopt, Don’t Shop

When passing by someone’s house, it isn’t uncommon to hear the pitter-patter of little feet followed by ferocious barking. From the tiniest Shih Tzu to the most imposing Labrador, dogs always seem like they’d risk life and limb to scare off threats to our home.

Hand-in-hand with that fierce loyalty is a friendship that’s probably one of the purest forms of love. Dogs and humans have a relationship that has endured through millennia. These adorable creatures exert a kind of love and loyalty that’s sometimes unmatched even by our fellow humans – rightfully earning them the title of being man’s best friend.

But while countless dogs across the world have found homes with us humans, did you know many more of them still face dangers? Our appreciation for them has grown and evolved throughout history, but our furry friends still face a horrible reality that is unknown to many.

The secret life of “puppy mills”

The pet equivalent of the fashion industry’s “fast fashion,” “puppy mills” are places or individuals who mass-produce puppies. These are common for foreign dog breeds. Mills often operate in inhumane conditions and sell dogs for cheap through different channels. From legitimate pet stores, to sidewalks, and most especially on the internet, there are infinite ways for them to move their “products.”

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Dogs produced from puppy mills are easily infected by diseases, and they’re most likely infected by one when you get them. This is due to the cruel and uninhabitable environment they’re born and raised in. Aside from the harsh environment they’re brought up in, female dogs, for example, are forced to breed in order to produce more puppies. This leads them to burnout, complications, and most times even death.

This practice has led different organizations like Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and CARA (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals) Welfare Philippines to take action and communicate the message of dog adoption across the country.

Adopt, don’t shop

Today, more and more organizations and institutions are now pushing people to adopt from animal shelters.

These rescue centers are built on compassion to save victims of animal cruelty, be it from the streets or the homes of their previous owners. In these sanctuaries, pets are nursed back to health with vaccines, food and exercise, and most specially the love and understanding they deserve.

Aside from rehabilitation, these institutions have been matchmakers for dogs and their new owners, carefully evaluating each so that cruelty and neglect do not happen again. There are a number of animal sanctuaries who have been doing opening adoption services for both dogs and cats that you can check out, such as non-government organizations like PAWS, CARA, and MBY Pet Rescue and Sanctuary.

However, if you’re not planning to adopt any time soon, these groups are also accepting donations such as food and toys, and sometimes even call for volunteers to help care for the animals.

Remember, dogs deserve a second chance at life, so if you’re thinking of getting a new furry friend, please opt to instead adopt from pet sanctuaries. Who knows, you might just find a life-long companion!

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