27 November 2007

Project: Sweepy, the SuperDog!

My hound Sweepy (a mongrel I refer to as Pinoy Hound) is now part of a campaign to push for the strict enforcement of 3 laws and ordinances in my community in San Pedro, Laguna.

The laws and ordinances include: Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act, Anti-Littering ordinance and the Letter of Instruction 1964 which bans the sale and display of gun replicas. The three major issues which I posted weeks ago. (Please scroll down the page to review).

It is not easy for animals like Sweepy to be part of a community when streets are not friendly for walks and people by nature are pretty clueless about animal care and protection. My four hounds in Heaven (name of my house) do not take walks down the street for fear that strays and roaming dogs will attack them not to mention the fleas and ticks they might pick up along the way! And since my hounds were not neutered or spayed (castrated to restrict overpopulation) they are mostly hyperactive and their father Sumo has a dominating personality which is why they can not roam around our house Heaven together as they used to. Except for Pica, the only female dog who is now 16-years old and still pretty strong and is allowed to roam free anytime of the day, the male hounds has to rotate being in the kennel and out (who's in/who's out routine).

Also, for a year now, I noticed small wounds on the hounds' legs which I attribute to their rough play until I realized that they were inflicted by stray pellets, small plastic projectiles that can fly across properties and can hit anybody on sight! These pellets can practically hit me in my own property by careless kids and adults unmindful of its danger! When I confronted the adult guardian of the kid I caught playing with it across our house, she told me she was not aware of any prohibitions! She called me again to inform me that nobody in the kid's school is aware of any prohibition and I told her the danger is so obvious it does not require a law to restrict it!

I called authorities but to ensure quick action, I SMS our barangay captain on his mobile phone who would immediately send a barangay tanod (watchman) to warn offenders and monitor the area. But these actions are not enough. I still see stray pellets in our private property and pellet wounds in my hounds, people mindlessly throwing anything on the streets, dogs allowed by their owners to roam the street without a leash or dogs escaping from their properties in search for food (I documented these cases!) and spreading the garbage on the streets! So I have to take drastic action!

I decided to conduct a campaign to create awareness and urge leaders to take action. To add impact I included my dog Sweepy (Pica is too old, Sumo is too hyperactive, and Bogart is too heavy) and designed a one-page campaign letter using Sweepy as the campaign icon.

I went to the municipal's office, barangay office , schools, banks, stores, tricycle terminals . . . I brought Sweepy to shake hands with the Mayor (check Sweepy's blog- http://sweepyheaven.blogspot.com/) and the Barangay Captain Norvic Solidum- Sweepy's second trip outside Heaven.

This is not an easy task. Sweepy's first and last trip outside Heaven was when he was just a puppy and it was a trip to go to the vet. Now the vet goes to Heaven instead! Sweepy got scared all the way but he bravely faced the crowd, the many pats and kisses he received comforted him, and gamely showed the community leaders the pellet wounds on his paws, and as always, smiled for the camera and the crowd that gathered! What a real trooper! And what an icon for community service!

It's a long difficult road ahead.
And I know it won't be easy . . .
But I until I can finally bring my hounds
to walk safely down our streets on leash
for a safe, leisurely walk . . .

. . . and until I need not cry in pity
on seeing roaming dogs escaping their house
in search for food even at night! . . .

. . . or angrily see trash scattered on the streets . . .

and most of all, until I see the day
when my hounds will not have to carry
any wounds inflicted by a careless and abusive society
will I finally say that yes, the campaign is over . . .

until then, I just have to see this one to the end
with my Super Dog Hero, Sweepy.

Please support Sweepy: Bantay ng Bayan project
. Please volunteer to disseminate information and urge leaders in your community to enforce RA8485, Anti-Littering and ban Pellet Guns! If you have a dog, make him/her the icon for the campaign in your area! Email us at sweepyheaven@yahoo.com