20 Nov – Heart Evangelista recently revealed that a childhood incident made her more determined than ever to help rescue dogs, especially the local Aspins, known before as AsKals (short for "asong kalye" meaning street dogs).
In her latest blog post, Evangelista wrote that the turning point of her life when it comes to rescuing dogs was when she and her sister heard the wails of terrified dogs from the house next-door back when they were just kids.
"When we heard those noises, we ran right over to their house. To our horror we found out what was happening - our neighbors were slaughtering dogs," she wrote.
"We started yelling at them through their gate telling them to stop it; picture this: two little girls jumping and screaming at the top of their lungs at a bunch of older men - we probably looked like a joke to them. We even told our guard to report it to the barangay office, only for him to be made fun of by the authorities."
The actress admitted that the event was traumatising for both her and her sister as two people who love animals, strays or otherwise - something she said was influenced by their father who often care for stray cats and dogs.
"Seeing how people treated these poor dogs and cats opened my eyes to the harsh reality for street animals. There's a mindset that street dogs are just "bantays" which you tie on a short leash outside your home, and that their only purpose is to scare off others. That couldn't be more wrong. When you give a street dog a little love, they'll return that back to you ten times over."
Evangelista added that as she grew older, she realised that she needed to do something bigger and more impactful, and thus cooperated with Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) to make something happen for the lives of these innocent street dogs.
"PAWS Philippines and I launched the "Have a Heart for AsPins" campaign, which advocates the #AdoptDontShop philosophy. Through this campaign, I hope to first and foremost, encourage people to adopt rescues from shelters. The PAWS Philippines shelter currently holds more than one hundred dogs, cats, and other rescues who are ready to be part of new families. As for the long-term goal of this campaign, it is to ultimately reshape the current mindset towards AsPins into one that leans towards compassion and kindness. I want to rid of the negative notion people have with street dogs, and make them see AsPins for what they truly are - dogs that are capable and ready for tender loving care," she added.
(Photo Source: Heart Evangelista Instagram)