Kathy Moran (The Philippine Star) Updated May 01, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – We had a combination of Aspins (Asong Pinoys) and mixed-breed dogs that registered with the Aspin Club,“ barked a happy Anna Cabrera, Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) director. “There were a total of 50 dogs — these dogs are now the founding members of the Aspin Club.”

The launch was held last Saturday, April 24, 2010 at Eastwood City in cooperation with Alpo.

Finally, a dream come true for the growing number of owners of Aspins and also for the many humans of mixed-breed dogs.  

I have always found it funny that the pure breed dogs have papers, which trace their lineage, that determines just how valuable they are. Blame it on the many kennel societies all over the world that wanted to make sure that only the best dogs made the breed standards.

I am happy that PAWS has started the Aspin Club which counts among its members Aspins and the many mixed breeds that we have here in Metro Manila.

At the well-attended event, PAWS Aspin Club spokesperson Heart Evangelista came with her native dogs Charles and Sultana. “In the future, people will no longer say ‘Ay, askal lang yung aso ko,’” quipped Heart. “I want all dogs to be treated equally. And for each dog top be recognized for the love he/she shares with us, regardless of the breed.”

Talentadong Pinoy resident judge and proud Aspin owner Audie Gemora, who attended the event with his rescued dog, Skipper, gave a stirring testimonial to the loyalty, intelligence and loving nature of native dogs.

“The formation of the PAWS Aspin Club is a fulfillment, not only mine, but of all animal advocates of their lifelong dream of promoting the beauty and dignity of our local breed,” added PAWS president Nita Hontinveros-Lichauco. “I have long waited for this day to come. And now, it is here.”

The club provides an opportunity for owners to socialize their Aspins through fun pet activities like dog walks, pet photography sessions, canine picnics, basic obedience lessons, and such. It also aims to promote the welfare of Aspins through education, lobbying and campaigns.

The PAWS Aspin Club launch was made possible through the generous support of Eastwood City, Alpo, Pet Express, McDonald’s, Frontline Plus, Pooch Express, Mypetchannel.tv, Magic 89.9 and The Philippine STAR Pet Life Section.

PAWS continues to accept registrants for the Aspin Club at the PAWS shelter in Aurora Blvd., Katipunan Valley, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

The club is open to all native and mixed-breed dogs. Applicants must bring their dog’s updated vaccination records and pay a P250 annual membership fee that will go to the PAWS Animal Shelter, a facility that takes care of Aspins rescued from cruelty and neglect.

For more information, e-mail pawsaspinclub@yahoo.com or visit www.paws.org.ph.

For more photos, click on this link:http://picasaweb.google.com/adminpawsweb/AspinClubLaunch#