ALTHOUGH she enjoys spending time with her peers in school, it’s coming home to her “fur friends” that Erica Navazca looks forward to the most after a long day of quizzes and projects.
Even on weekends and school holidays, it’s rare to see the 18-year-old student away from home as she prefers to play and cuddle with her dog than go outside.
“Whenever you need somebody, they (pets) are there for you. Somehow, pets are like children. They help take away stress, whether it be school stuff or work-related,” she said.
The youngest in the brood of three, Navazca grew up in a family of animal lovers.
Her first pet was an iguana. But when it died, her parents got her a dog instead.
Soon, her first dog bore pups that Navazca and her siblings have grown to adore.
To pamper their “fur babies,” the Navazcas went to Plaza Sugbo Sunday, June 23, 2019, to join the activity organized by Cebu City’s Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) in celebration of Asong Pinoy (aspin) Day.
“We always join this kind of activity because aside from availing ourselves of free services for our pets like vaccination, it’s nice to let our dogs go out and meet new friends,” Navazca said.
Navazca’s dog, Ldartagnan, is a mix between an aspin and a doberman.
Ldartagnan also has two siblings that are now in the care of Navazca’s aunt.
The male pup was one of the first 100 participants that were able to take advantage of the DVMF’s free vaccination program.
In a separate interview, DVMF Chief Alice Utlang said it is important to celebrate feline and canine friends even just for a day.
“We celebrate Aspin Day every June since it is also the Local Rabies Awareness Month. We want to give honor to aspins because people are mostly drawn to pedigree dogs. They are not as favored and loved as the imported breeds, but they are just as important,” she said.
Aside from vaccination, the DVMF also offered free deworming services for both aspins and pedigree dogs.
Three of the 10 rescued dogs also found new families yesterday through the Adopt-a-Puppy program.
To ensure that all “adoptive parents” take care of their pups, the DVMF has embedded microchips in the aspins so it can monitor the dogs.
Interested parents are also screened before they are allowed to adopt the animals.
The DVMF has also partnered with Island Rescue Organization to promote the “Brake for Animals” advocacy.
It aims to raise awareness and promote discipline among motorists to step on their brakes when there are animals crossing the streets.
According Utlang, the DVMF rescues a daily average of two stray dogs and cats that are victims of hit-and-run.
“Our appeal to our motorists is to please step on the brakes and let them cross safely. Like us, they also have lives and families to get home to, regardless of whether they are domesticated or stray,” she added. (RTF)