MANILA--Some shopping centers do not allow pets in their premises, but a security group at a Taguig mall has recruited at least 10 stray dogs as members of its team.
One of them is Dogdog, who recently went viral after sneaking into the mall and laying down on the floor, as shared in a video posted by Jan Mart Calimpong on Facebook on Nov. 20.
“Ang cute lang kasi parang nainitan na talaga si doggy sa labas,” Calimpong said in his post.
(He is so cute and it seemed like the dog could not take the heat outside.)
The video also showed security guards carefully handling the situation by gently escorting the dog outside the mall.
"Though this dog entered the mall premises unnoticed, I was glad he was not treated harshly when sent back outside, instead the guard escorted him like he was their pet,” Calimpong added.
According to Vista Mall Taguig building administrator John Rowin Luna, Dogdog has been roaming the mall for almost 5 years now.
Strays have been constant visitors there since it is near a community. But instead of driving these animals away, management has adopted and welcomed them as part of the security group.
“As part of the security, lahat sila active naman lalo na sa gabi. Tuwing gabi, kasama silang mag-roving ng mga guard,” Luna said.
In 2018, he added, Dogdog "apprehended" an alleged thief at the mall. The culprit was turned over to police.
“So, si aso talaga ang nakahabol kasi malayo na siya and ang nakatakbo is ‘yung aso lang.”
(He chased the thief because the thief managed to run far already. Only the dog was able to chase the thief.)
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According to a mall security guard, the adopted and recruited dogs have had personal relationships with the guards and they have been kind to the customers.
“Malaki pong tulong sa amin si Dogdog,” Rico Suco, one of the mall’s security guards said. (Dogdog is a big help to us.)
“Hindi po namin pinapaalis ‘yung mga stray dog kasi dog-lover ‘yung mga guwardiya dito,” he added.
(Most of the guards here are dog lovers, too, so we do not chase stray dogs away.)
The adopted dogs constantly receive anti-rabies shots, proper hygiene, and food from mall management.
“Sana tratuhin natin nang maayos ang mga stray dog, hindi itaboy o sinasaktan kasi pangit po ‘yun kasi may isip din ‘yung aso eh,” Suco said.
(We should treat stray dogs well, and not fend them off or hurt them because dogs could feel and think, too.)