Mars Petcare and Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF), want to improve the living conditions and protect the welfare of animals. They worked together on a pilot series of online pet education sessions for students who are 6 to 12 years old. The online pet education program, PEPTALK, is part of an initiative launched by Mars Petcare – called BETTER CITIES FOR PETS – to create pet-friendly communities for all dogs and cats.
“We believe that pets make our lives better and that pet ownership brings joy and benefits which should be accessible to everyone. There are many stray or abandoned animals in the Philippines, and we hope that through BETTER CITIES FOR PETS we can improve pet welfare, as well as change attitudes towards strays and encourage pet adoption,” said Dr. Saza Curaming, Mars Pet Nutrition Technical Adviser.
“Education is therefore key, and it is important to introduce compassion at a young age. When a child learns to care for a pet, they’re also learning how to treat others with kindness and create a welcoming community. Teaching children on how the needs of pets differ from humans, how to properly care for their pets, along with simple tips that can help keep their pets happy and healthy is a great way to boost positive self-esteem and responsible behavior.”
Almost 300 students from Buting Elementary School in Pasig City learned becoming responsible pet owners. They participated in kid-friendly discussions on animal welfare, the five basic freedoms of pets, how to keep dogs and cats safe from rabies transmission, nutrition and exercise. The students also introduced their pets via a virtual show and tell.
“Healthy pets mean healthy humans and a healthy environment. Over the course of the pandemic in the past
year and a half, many of us have seen the positive impact of pets on our mental and emotional wellbeing, particularly during multiple lockdowns. Through the support of BETTER CITIES FOR PETSTM, we are able to bring this message to a wider audience and influence the next generation of pet owners,” said Atty. Heidi Marquez, Program Director of AKF.
AKF also spearheads Project SNAP (Spay, Neuter, and Adopt Program) and the We Feed As One project, last year to feed stray cats and dogs and supply animal food to help struggling shelters.
“Mars Petcare has a rich history of improving pets’ lives and the Better Cities For Pets program extends this vision by building the right partnerships,” said John Racoma, Country Director, Mars Philippines. “We are thrilled to collaborate with AKF and look forward to sparking conversations and raising awareness on creating pet-friendly communities as we roll out more programs and ramp up our efforts in Metro Manila.”
The Better Cities For Pets program was launched in January 2021 in the Philippines and is designed to help communities make life better for pets through changing perceptions on stray dogs and cats; advocating for responsible pet ownership; and establishing conductive and welcoming spaces for pets.