- MANILA, PHILIPPINES –In efforts to improve responsible pet ownership, Mars Petcare recently teamed up with Animal Kingdom Foundation, Inc. (AKF), an organization that seeks to improve the living conditions and protect the welfare of animals, to pilot a series of online pet education sessions for students aged 6 to 12. The online pet education program, PEPTALK, is part of an initiative launched by Mars Petcare – called BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ – with an aim to create pet-friendly communities for all dogs and cats to live and play.
“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,” shares 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.”
Through the pilot, close to three hundred students from Buting Elementary School in Pasig City learned how to become responsible pet owners. The session included 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 had an opportunity to introduce their pets via a virtual show and tell.
Atty. Heidi Marquez, Program Director of Animal Kingdom Foundation, underscores how animals, humans and the environment are interconnected: “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 PETS™, we are able to bring this message to a wider audience and influence the next generation of pet owners.”
Aside from its education programs, AKF also spearheads Project SNAP (Spay, Neuter, and Adopt Program) and the We Feed As One project, which was initiated during the lockdown 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 Animal Kingdom Foundation 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.”
Mars Petcare aims to help pets live long, healthy lives and thrive in a pet-friendly environment and is working towards A Better World For Pets – a world where no pets are unwanted and no pets are uncared for. 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. Find out more about the Better Cities for Pets program here: https://www.bettercitiesforpets.com/. ###
About Mars Petcare
Part of Mars, Incorporated, a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love, the 85,000 Associates across 50+ countries in Mars Petcare are dedicated to one purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. With 85 years of experience, our portfolio of almost 50 brands serves the health and nutrition needs of the world’s pets – including brands PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, and, IAMS™. As a family business and guided by our principles, we are privileged with the flexibility to fight for what we believe in – and we choose to fight for: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS.
About BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™
Mars Petcare launched BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ in the Philippines in January 2021 to help communities become more pet-friendly. Mars Petcare works with key partners, businesses and local governments to better understand how to improve communities by: providing safe and welcoming shelters that lead to forever homes; encouraging pet-friendly, responsible homes for pets; welcoming more pets into local businesses, and giving pets plenty of space to play. For more information about the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com.