To say that a lot of disasters happened in the Philippines these past months would be an understatement. Not only did Filipinos have to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, they also had to brave typhoons and earthquakes. Each disaster left so much devastation in some areas, which made it difficult for residents to bounce back.
Both the private and public sectors came up with different initiatives to help those in need. Among those that came up with a program was the University of the Philippines, Diliman. They launched a K9 program involving the homeless dogs loitering around the campus. Their goal is to equip these canines with the skills they need to help out in search and rescue operations.
Professor Khrysta Imperial Rara, Sagip K9 Training’s project manager, is among the people who thought of the initiative. They wanted to help the campus prepare for when natural hazards would strike. They figured training K9s would allow them to rescue people at the soonest possible time. It would also enable them to immediately assist whoever needed to be assisted instead of waiting for help from outside.
Dogs roaming around the campus are used to being in the company of humans. However, they were still subjected to behavior modification to alter traits that were undesirable. Rara and her team were pleasantly surprised when they saw all canines perform well.
Most of the dogs that underwent training were Philippine mongrels. A Jack Russell was the only pure-bred pooch that made it to the team.
Changing the stigma
Those who learned about the program lauded Rara’s team. Aside from giving the strays a place to call home, the Sagip K9 Training also changed how people looked at these pooches. From being seen as pests, everyone seeing them as modern-day four-legged heroes! More about this in the video below:
Credits to ABS-CBN News