We all know about Heart Evangelista’s affection for aspins. Remember Panda who she rescued from Nasugbu, Batangas? The dog became a much-envied celebrity pet not long after. A crazy rich aspin, if you will. With her main human spoiling her with Goyard collars, gifting her a 40,000-peso Hermès scarf, and keeping her warm in an Hermès blanket worth 50 grand, how else will you call Panda?
We’ll, if you’re Heart, you can also call her daughter, which the lady has. She even named her Panda Ongpauco Escudero (Ongpauco is Heart’s real last name). “She will always be in my life and will never be downgraded just because,” she once told a follower who asked if she will allow the aspin in her bed if she had a child.
In November last year, Heart even offered a P50,000 reward for anyone who can find another aspin close to her heart, Luka, when the dog went missing. “Sana matulungan niyo kami. Baka nasa EDSA siya?” she wrote in a Tweet, sounding very concerned. “He is very afraid of people so baka nagtatago sa mga bridge.”
So it’s no surprise the actress-fashionista-artist sounds so happy in her most recent post on Instagram. The reel shows her visiting an animal shelter which just opened in Cogon, Juban, Sorsogon. “Finally a home for our beloved aspins,” she writes in her caption. “A rehabilitation and adoption center where you can find your forever love.” She reports that the center also gives free rabies shots and neutering.
The shelter is likely a project of her husband, Chiz Escudero, who is governor of Sorsogon and is bidding for a senate comeback in the May elections. “Thank you @chizescudero for doing this,” Heart says in her caption. “Proud of you,” she adds. The fashion influencer also thanks the shelter’s doctors and volunteers. “Together we shall make this place a home for aspins who deserve nothing but the best in life.”
Heart is an advocate for dog adoption and has been a celebrity endorser for PAWS, or the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, for more than a decade. She’s done campaigns with the group including one called Have A Heart for Aspins, “a call for people to recognize Aspins as beautiful, loving and loyal dogs,” hence “they should be given the same care, love and respect as pure breeds.”