Singer-actress Sharon Cuneta has not just found a new pet in Chow Rosie; she has also stumbled on a new pet cause.

Dubbed the country’s Megastar, Cuneta has signed up with the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, or Paws, to pitch for its pet adoption campaign.

May Angela Felix, Paws campaigns specialist, told the Inquirer: “We chose Sharon because she’s a true animal lover. She’s sympathetic to the plight of abused animals.”

Felix met Mega when Paws was featured on her old TV5 show “Sharon: Kasama Mo Kapatid.”

Felix said that when Mega visited the Paws shelter in Quezon City, she instantly fell in love with a maltreated Chow that she has since adopted and named Rosie.

When Rosie was first brought to the shelter, “she can’t even be walked around the compound because of all her wounds (due to) skin infection,” Cuneta recalled.

“Sharon asked about Rosie’s treatment. Apart from the medication, she and other animals with mange (a chronic skin disease) need a special shampoo called UMS (Universal Medicated Shampoo), which has to be imported from the United States,” Felix recounted. With dispatch, Paws received 13 gallons of UMS from Cuneta.

“She is a great example because she herself adopted a rescued dog from the Paws shelter instead of buying from pet shops or irresponsible breeders,” said Felix.

Now fully recovered, Rosie has joined Mega and kids’ growing pack of pets at home. She now cares for a total of eight dogs: “I have two female Chows Mochi and Rosie, a male Chow Popo, male Shih Tzu Grandpa, two female Beagles Bea and Cupcake, female Maltese Kaia and Bichon Frise Aristotle.”

She also had a Rottweiler (Noelle) and Shih Tzu (Solomon) who both died at the ripe old age of 12.

“Some people don’t care much about animals, but I am reminded of Noah’s Ark . . .  and realize that God bothered to ask Noah to build a huge ark to accommodate all those animals because He loved them,” Cuneta explained. “They are His beloved creatures, too.”

Cuneta feels strongly about the pet adoption campaign. “Pets love us unconditionally. They help take our stress away on a daily basis. All they ask in return is our love, and food and shelter.”

A pet lover, she said, is inevitably inspired to become kinder to fellow humans. “A person who has the heart to give an animal a better life will be able to improve the world through the little he does for other human beings. The happier you are, the more you can give to others. My pets have made me a much happier person.”

Felix pointed out that Cuneta’s status as Megastar can help popularize pet adoption among Filipinos.

“A lot of people look up to Sharon so we know she can reach out to her fans and be an instrument of positive change . . . on the way Filipinos view and treat animals,” said Felix.

Cuneta is the latest celebrity endorser to join Paws in its various advocacies, said Felix. “Heart Evangelista pitched for our ‘Beauty Beyond Breed’ campaign. Carla Abellana joined our ‘Dr. Dog’ program and visited the Philippine Children’s Medical Center with us. Karylle has been active in all our projects.”

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