Bravo Assumption! pet

Panay News12 Dec 2016

Just Another Day... by Luis M. Buenaflor, Jr.


I WAS having my usual “time with my granddaughter who’s a grade-schooler at Assumption Iloilo and she was having her time telling her “about her adventures in school. abuelo”

Our conversation turned to pets, specifically dogs which she loves. She told me that it’s bad not to feed your dog and not to treat them well or give them proper shelter. I didn’t give it much thought as she grew up with dogs and she loves “Forest”, our chocolate Labrador who’s a gentle giant. When she and her brother were babies in our home in Manila, “Forest” was their “nanny dog.”

What caught my attention was when she said that it’s wrong to hurt dogs like kicking them or throwing stones at them and treating them bad because you can go to jail if you do this. So I ask her who told you this and she replied, “My teacher in school.”

She then got one of her textbooks and showed me the page about animal welfare and Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Law. When I saw this I was pleasantly surprised. Here’s an excerpt from that page: The textbook is “Science for Active Learning” and on page 130, you can find this: “Do you know that there is a law protecting animal rights? It is called the Animal Welfare Act of 1998. The law protects animals that are used as objects of trade like cattle, pigs, goats, poultry, etc. It also protects pets like dogs, cats, birds and other reptiles. If you are caught violating the law you may be imprisoned or fined or both.”

In my more than two decades as an animal welfare advocate, this is the first school I came across that actually teaches their learners animal welfare. During my watch as director of Animal Kingdom Foundation when we launched our education program with another animal welfare NGO, the United Kingdom based Dogs Trusts, we had a hard time convincing Department of Education district supervisors and superintendents including principals to allow our education officers to teach their school kids responsible

ownership and animal welfare. You would not imagine the “red tape” and “run around “we had to go through to finally get their permission. To think that the schools won’t spend a single centavo as we provided for everything, including learning materials. And here we have Assumption Iloilo on its own initiative teaching its learners the basics of animal welfare.

For an animal welfare advocate who has lobbied Congress, the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Animal Industry and the Department of Education that animal welfare be incorporated in the school’s curriculum, this is a pleasant and heart-warming surprise. I feel vindicated that somehow our efforts finally came through.

For sure Assumption will be producing a generation of Assumptionistas who are aware of animal welfare. Expecting an animal welfare advocate to come from this generation would be too much but it is not farfetched. Bearing in mind that one of the school’s most famous or infamous alumni – depending on which side you’re on – is “revolutionary leader” Concha Araneta who is now a peace consultant for the National Democratic Front. So who knows, maybe the next “Jane Goodall” is that little girl in pigtails feeding the stray cats in the playground.

Assumption has always been known for providing their students a well-rounded and socially relevant education. It is good to know that animal welfare awareness is incorporated in the school’s curriculum.

So speaking for the “voiceless” animals, I say, Bravo Assumption!

Indeed, the best gift you can give your child is an Assumption education.