Thinking about adopting an Aspin? The Philippines is rife with adoptable Aspins, short for “Asong Pinoy” (Philippine Dogs). Known for being resilient, kind, and mostly low-maintenance, Aspins are in high demand now more than ever. There are millions of strays in our streets and far too few homes willing to take them in.
If you’ve set your heart on caring for an adorable Aspin, read on to find out how best to look after this nationally loved fur friend!
GETTING TO KNOW ASPINS
Never heard of Aspins? Perhaps you’ve heard of the Askal.
The country’s native Dogs used to be called “Asong Kalye” (street Dogs). However, according to a December 2022 Manila Standard article by Mariana Burgos, animal rights advocates in the Philippines eventually pushed for a more dignified name for Philippine stray Dogs.
Instead of being known just as Dogs of the streets, Aspins have come to be loved as Pinoy Dogs worthy of pride and care.
Aspins are mongrels, which means they’re made up of a mixture of breeds. In other words, every Aspin is different, and yet so often alike. They come in different shapes and sizes, with various types of coats and lengths of fur.
While those who prefer pedigreed animals might avoid adopting an Aspin because of their questionable ancestry, those who just want a new addition to their family would do well to open their doors to these tremendously kind yet homeless fur babies.
CARING FOR AN ASPIN
These Dogs of the streets are known for being street smart. Their lack of a certain breed means they typically don’t have the pure long coats that need brushing every day. Aspins truly are low-maintenance, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need care at all. Here are four tips for caring for your Aspin the best way you can!
MAKE YOUR HOUSE A HOME
Anticipate what your Aspin would need before you welcome them into your home. Aspins are intelligent, resilient Dogs who can survive the streets. Of course, they would much rather thrive in a safe and clean environment. This means making your home comfortable and pet-friendly.
Allow your Aspin some freedom; avoid imprisoning them in a cage or chaining them outdoors to weather literal storms. An Aspin’s lack of breed doesn’t make them indestructible.
PROVIDE THEM WITH FOOD AND WATER
This should go without saying, but it’s easy to overestimate just how low-maintenance Aspins are. While they might not require special food (though they could share your other animal companions’ diet), they still need to eat nutritious meals regularly and have constant access to clean water.
BOND WITH THEM
Whether you’re at home or in public, be proud of your Aspin. Play with them whenever you can, walk them around your village, introduce them to other Dogs at the park, and even bring them to pet-friendly malls for indoor adventures.
Every moment you spend time with your Aspin off the streets is a chance to let them explore their new life as part of your family.
BRING THEM TO THE VET
If you rescue your Aspin from the streets, bring them to the veterinarian as soon as you’re able. It’s important to have your new fur baby checked for any signs of illness and to have them vaccinated for diseases like rabies.
You might also want to consider having them spayed or neutered, not only for the health benefits the procedure offers but the effect it could have on the Aspin population in the Philippines.
WHY ADOPT AN ASPIN
A November 2022 PhilStar article by Maro Enriquez states there are currently over 13 million strays in the Philippines. Several animal welfare and animal rights organizations have spoken up about the state of animal homelessness in the country, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
PhilStar quotes Jason Baker, PETA senior vice president of campaigns, as stating, “While countless [D]ogs and [C]ats struggle to survive on the streets, hundreds are euthanized every month in municipal pounds.”
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) website addresses the question of stray animals in the Philippines head on: “Strays are not a random occurrence but a symptom of a bigger problem.” According to PAWS, this problem is caused by multiple factors including irresponsible animal guardianship, buying instead of adopting animals, and not spaying or neutering them.
Besides the overpopulation of Aspins and the threat of euthanasia in pounds, there is one other important reason Aspins should be adopted: they are worthy of love. Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA) Welfare Philippines, a non-profit organization, celebrated the most recent National Aspin Day on August 18 by posting an article online about how Aspins are “just as deserving of love and care as any other dog breed.” Beyond their breed and background (or lack thereof), Aspins are Filipino fur babies worth adopting. There is an abundance of them all around us.