Believe it or not, a major city in the Philippines, perhaps the second largest city after Manila, Quezon City, did not have a centralized city pound until a new one was inaugurated on April 29, 2007. Approximately 2.69 million people reside in Quezon City together with approximately 200,000 dogs of which a third are strays. Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) worked tirelessly and constantly with Quezon City Mayor's office to make the pound a reality. Formerly, stray dogs were kept by the local barangay government until they were claimed by the owners. The barangay has no equivalent in the American government system. It is lower than the city government and represents the basic unit of government because it operates at the neighborhood level. The dogs kept by the barangays have been known to end up in the dog meat market since the barangay officials are only too glad to give them up for a very small fee. They are, after all, not in the dog pound business. So, the opening of a city pound takes a bite out of the dog meat trade. The stray dogs now have a place to go, and hopefully get adopted from there. Quezon City, by the way, is considered the largest source of stray dogs that end up in the dog meat trade. Without the vision and hard work of PAWS, this step in the right direction would never have been taken. It's an important step forward for animal welfare in the Philippines. Here is a couple of videos taken during the inauguration ceremony:
Because I belong to an group of animal welfare advocates in the Philippines, I can read the numerous discussions between group members and people who, seems to me, just signed up to make an urgent plea for help. There were two this week who begged for assistance concerning two dogs who were tied up under rain and sun with no food nor water. One was described to be on the verge of a heat stroke. The images that filled my mind disturbed me immensely, but I am also encouraged at the same time. There is a growing number of animal welfare advocates in the Philippines and ordinary citizens are beginning to reject animal cruelty, willing to take personal action against it. Just from this website, I can see from the visitor data that many are seeking information on how to report animal cruelty in the Philippines. You can find my previous post on the subject HERE . Keep in mind that your complaint has legal standing via the Philippine Animal Welfare Act which is also known as the RA 8485 .