‘Adopt, don’t shop,’ animal welfare group appeals

Published October 4, 2020, 11:19 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

An animal welfare group is hoping that more Filipinos consider adopting pets instead of buying or getting them from friends or neighbors.


“Some people like to use the term ‘adoption’ but it is not a real adoption if you got a pet from someone who is selling a pet or someone repeatedly ‘rescuing’ but allowing his or her rescues to get pregnant,” PAWS Executive Director Anna Cabrera said in an email interview.

She noted that Filipinos usually get their pets from two sources.

“Buy or receive as something that the neighbor or a friend has given away (because that neighbor or friend did not spay or neuter/kapon their pet),” she pointed out.

This Filipino culture however is also the reason behind the prevalence of stray and homeless dogs and cats, Cabrera pointed out.

To address the problem, the animal welfare group has been advocating adoption of rescued animals from shelters and the spaying and neutering of pets.

“We hope people can read up into the connection between failure to spay-neuter and the prevalence of strays/homeless animals,” Cabrera said.

“We hope more Pinoys will consider adoption instead of buying pets or getting puppies or kittens from their kapitbahays (neighbors),” she continued.

Finding ‘fur-ever’ homes

PAWS defined pet adoption as permanently assuming responsibility of an animal that has been rescued.

For the past three years, the group has helped over 200 stray cats and dog find their forever homes.


Eighty-one animals were adopted in 2017; 82 in 2018; and 59 in 2019.

For this year, only 24 rescued cats and dogs have so far been adopted because PAWS shelter in Aurora Boulevard, Quezon City also had to close its doors to visitors during the lockdown.

“We were put on extreme lockdown quite unexpectedly last March 15 so we were not able to field out the animals prior to the lockdown,” Cabrera said.

“NGOs like PAWS had to struggle to adjust. We suddenly found that we had to close our doors to visitors. Usually rate of adoptions are dependent on the rate of visitors coming in,” she explained.

Cabrera said closing the PAWS shelter to visitors because of the pandemic has posed a big challenge to its adoption program since it requires adopters to show up for an interview.

“As a matter of info, PAWS does not adopt out easily to anyone who inquires or offers to adopt or foster, we do background checkings and it is our unpaid volunteers who do the ocular inspections of potential homes,” she shared.

“We also require adopters to show up at the shelter and speak to our adoption counselors for proper interview,” she continued.


Nonetheless, Cabrera encouraged pet owners to have their pets spayed or neutered as a long-term solution to reduce the number of homeless or stray animals.


“There won’t be enough good homes for all animals. We can adopt to do our part in lessening the number of homeless pets but the long-term solution is really, to make it a point that all pets who are adopted or taken in are all fixed pets – spayed or neutered,” she stressed.

As a matter of policy, Cabrera said all legitimate animal welfare groups spay-neuter the animals they offer for adoption.

Otherwise, they could just be hoarding animals or breeding animals and this is not good for animal welfare at all, she said.