SAINT ROCHE’S Haven of Love

Animal Scene - - ANIMALS ON THE SCENE -

Athou­sand Led-lit or­ange lumi-bal­loons were lit up and pa­raded at sunset at the re­cent Saint Roche’s Haven of Love event for pet lovers and their an­i­mal com­pan­ions. The dis­play was aimed at show­ing the world that its par­tic­i­pants― led by an­i­mal wel­fare groups―were one with the world in the ad­vo­cacy against an­i­mal cru­elty, as April was de­clared the Anti-an­i­mal Cru­elty Month by the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals or ASPCA. It is the hope of the or­ga­niz­ers that peo­ple learn to treat the well­be­ing of their pets as be­ing as im­por­tant as rais­ing a hu­man child, and to learn about proper nutri­tion, the pro­vi­sion of de­cent shel­ter and ad­e­quate med­i­cal care, and an aware­ness of their safety.

Guests and par­tic­i­pants showed their sol­i­dar­ity with the event’s ad­vo­cacy by wear­ing or­ange, the ad­vo­cacy’s color mo­tif. Ac­tiv­i­ties and talks were held to am­plify aware­ness of an­i­mal wel­fare and the im­por­tance of pre­vent­ing cru­elty to an­i­mals, and to en­cour­age pet own­ers in the en­tire na­tion to ex­press their sup­port for the en­deavor. There was also a do­na­tion drive to help par­tic­i­pat­ing an­i­mal wel­fare agen­cies con­tinue their work against an­i­mal cru­elty. Com­pas­sion and Re­spon­si­bil­ity for An­i­mals’ (CARA) Eric Su­gui­tan dis­cussed what it meant to be a re­spon­si­ble pet owner, and how even non-pet own­ers could be­come proac­tive an­i­mal wel­fare cru­saders. Dog Coach Fran­cis Cle­o­fas showed par­tic­i­pants the ben­e­fits of force-free dog train­ing, sans the pun­ish­ments as­so­ci­ated with reg­u­lar train­ing. A demon­stra­tion with his dog Se­lena de­lighted the siz­able crowd, which in­cluded over 500 pet own­ers and dozens more who passed by and stayed to lis­ten to the “Askal Ko, Ma­hal Ko” sto­ries by proud own­ers. A pet bazaar with good­ies for pets and own­ers alike wel­comed guests and passersby who found them­selves hap­pily join­ing in. An open pet adop­tion drive worked to ed­u­cate po­ten­tial adopters about their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as own­ers, as did a dis­counted spay & neuter booth by the An­i­mal King­dom Foun­da­tion. 150 lucky dogs re­ceived free anti-ra­bies vac­ci­na­tions; other pets en­joyed free health check­ups and on-site bath and dry pet groom­ing. A Dog Maze race en­livened the event, as did an Obe­di­ence Con­test an­chored by Dog Coach Fran­cis Cle­o­fas. Own­ers and pets en­joyed the Pet My Pet dog pet­ting and selfie sta­tion, along with par­lor games of­fered at var­i­ous booths and an hourly raf­fle.

(1) Yes, you can pet them! (2) This hand­some Bas­set Hound at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion. (3) This Alaskan Mala­mute was al­most big enough for kids to ride, though he was just a year old. (4) Pets and pet own­ers so­cial­ized as they waited for the talks to be­gin; they were an avid, at­ten­tive au­di­ence.

The top right photo shows a pet-owner team ne­go­ti­at­ing the Dog Maze, a con­test that had the au­di­ence on its feet, cheer­ing. Above, Shih Tzu own­ers show off their fur ba­bies. The photo on the left shows two of Dog Coach Fran­cis Cle­o­fas’ dogs; Se­lena, who has her leash in her mouth, helped the Dog Coach demon­strate to the au­di­ence a new and more co­op­er­a­tive method of dog train­ing which did not in­volve pun­ish­ment or rep­ri­mands--some­thing which the au­di­ence re­sponded to.

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