Friday, July 25, 2008

Website Watch 8: the Little Pet Project

This website will definitely appeal to two types of species: the hound dogs and the hot dogs -- hound dogs meaning those of the waggy-tail type, and hot dogs meaning those of the virile, testosterone-laden type. But it should matter most to those who genuinely care for their loving pets, as well as those who have a heart.

The Little Pet Project was borne out of the concern of its founders -- photographers Lisa Presnail and Colleen Walsh -- for animals living in several shelters all over the US, a vast majority of which end up being euthanized because no one adopted them. They came up with the idea of putting several of these pets from the shelters, together with supportive models, in front of the camera. The result is a relatively impressive portfolio of steamy yet artistic photos featuring women and their furry friends. They have also linked with several pet advocacy/welfare groups who help in generating more popularity and support for the site and its worthwhile campaign.

In essence, The Little Pet Project gives more chances for homeless animals in shelters to have a second chance at life and find loving people to adopt them.


Another important advocacy of The Little Pet Project is for the responsible care of pets. To be a responsible pet owner is for a family/individual to have their pets spayed/neutered to lessen chances of breeding. This is the best solution to the problem of having litters of furry babies that will end up either in a shelter or in the streets. Either way, chances of their survival will be slim to none.

I hope Presnail and Walsh don't mind if I show several photos from their site:

Beautiful, aren't they?


Looking through The Little Pet Project, I learned that there are actually several clinics in the US that provide low-cost spaying and neutering services for pets. I wish there were such clinics here in the Philippines. Here in Cebu City, prices for these said services range from three to five thousand pesos. This is quite exorbitant, especially for those who may love their pets but who only have enough to feed and support their lives (like me). I don't even know if the City Vet even has these services, or if they do, facilities for these surgical operations are below par.

I remember when I was in Manila, I adopted a sickly kitten who I named Zorro from the SPCA and had him cleaned, given deworming medicine, and administered with vitamins. I think the SPCA also provides neutering and spaying services at a relatively cheap price, especially for animals adopted from their shelter. I wasn't able to have Zorro neutered though because he was still too young when I got him, and he went to Cat Heaven before he got to the best age for neutering.

I sincerely hope that the SPCA would open more offices in other provinces of this country, considering that it's not only Manila who has pet owners.

Some provincial vets do administer neutering to male pets, but spaying for the females is out of the question. Neutering is a relatively easy operation, considering that all they have to do is to make a small incision just above the animal's scrotum, squeeze out the testicles, and slice them off. After a few stitches to cover everything up, in a few minutes the animal is as good as new. Meanwhile, spaying requires a more intensive and delicate operation, considering that the female's eggs are inside her belly. That is why among private vets, it is much more expensive to spay than to neuter.


I had my Leyte cat, Cali, neutered by the local vet a few years ago. The funny thing about this was that our local vet was more adept at castrating pigs than small animals like cats. Thus, when Cali was prepared for neutering, the operation was made in our neighborhood talipapa. He was made to lie down belly up (not without complaints) on the tiled table in the meat section, with four people holding on to each of his legs. Then, sans any anesthesia or antibiotic, the vet flashed his seven-inch long scalpel -- used for his porky clients -- before Cali. You could only imagine the horror in Cali's eyes upon seeing the massive tool that was to be used on him.

Then, with the deftness of a magician who does card tricks, the vet sliced, squeezed out, cut, and pressed the wound shut in less than two minutes. I didn't even see where he placed the now-displaced testicles of my poor hemorrhaging cat after that. After a few more minutes of pressing, the bleeding ceased and the vet said that I can bring Cali home already. He did give a warning that as soon as the cat is brought home, he shouldn't be carried or else the wound would open up again.

Thus, I brought Cali home then went to work. I was in the middle of a class when our division secretary called on me to receive a phone call in our faculty room. It was my mom. Cali was bleeding all over the place.

I rushed home immediately after my class. Cali was walking around with blood trailing behind him. My mom related to me that while I was out, Cali kept on requesting my mom for a "carry-carry." I already warned her against it but since Cali was insistent and she felt so much pity for the cat who obviously needed some cuddling after his recent trauma, she picked him up. I guess everybody knows what happened next.

My mom and I half-walked half-ran to the vet's house with a bleeding Cali thoroughly wrapped in a towel. (Thank God, the vet's a neighbor.) When we got there, the vet merely pressed on Cali's wound again to stop the bleeding, injected some antibiotic into him, and rewrapped him -- this time, more tightly -- with the towel.

Cali's wound did heal after that horrifying ordeal. But I doubt it if he'll ever trust another vet with a seven-inch scalpel again.


Going back to The Little Pet Project, I do hope that you blog readers would visit it, admire/gawk at/drool on/ the beautiful pictures there, and do a little something in support of their endeavor.

No comments: