DLSU cats given purr-sonal quiet space ahead of major university event

September 26, 2018 - 4:13 PM
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The De La Salle University-Professors for the Upliftment of Society’s Animals were praised for their initiatives done in looking out for felines within the campus during a mass that was attended by public officials. (Facebook/Carmel Puertollano via DLSU PUSA)

An educational institution was praised for its initiative to keep their cat community within classrooms in preparation for the thousands of attendees during a mass celebration.

De La Salle University hosted a “Mass for Peace” in the Cory Aquino Democratic Space at Henry Sy Sr. Hall to mark the 46th anniversary of Martial Law.

It was attended by prominent public officials such as Vice President Leni Robredo, former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Senator Francis Pangilinan and Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, among others.

In order to prepare for the number of attendees, however, the university has to control its large feline community.

(Screenshot from Laureen Velasco, Carmel Puertollano and Stephanie Bernardo via Facebook/DLSU PUSA)

Two classrooms were secured to temporarily house the cats while people visited the university. It was quirkily called “Daycare Hotels” in which cats were given specific room designations.

Reports note that the idea originally came from University Safety Office Director Ron Dabu.

(Screenshot from Laureen Velasco, Carmel Puertollano and Stephanie Bernardo via Facebook/DLSU PUSA)
(Screenshot from Laureen Velasco, Carmel Puertollano and Stephanie Bernardo via Facebook/DLSU PUSA)
(Screenshot from Laureen Velasco, Carmel Puertollano and Stephanie Bernardo via Facebook/DLSU PUSA)
(Screenshot from Laureen Velasco, Carmel Puertollano and Stephanie Bernardo via Facebook/DLSU PUSA)

“We strive, as much as possible, to make our campus cat-and people-friendly,” Carmel Puertollano, the Special Projects Coordinator of the Office of the Vice President for Lasallian Mission and staunch PUSA advocate, shared.

For safety reasons, the cats were sheltered in classrooms to avoid any untoward events from happening that day since public officials were present.

“Essentially, at the heart of it all is really the safety of both humans and cats,” Puertollano added.

Purr power: How DLSU manages their cats 

DLSU is known to house cats within its walls. In fact, a Facebook page called “Cats of DLSU” exists to honor the felines who share campus spaces with students and professors.

They also have an established organization dedicated to looking out for felines, the Professors for the Upliftment of Society’s Animals or DLSU-PUSA. It is under the Office of the Vice President for Lasallian Mission.

Apparently, students in January 2016 have reported cases of numerous cat-related injuries within the campus. It has prompted the University Health Office to release an announcement the following month, advising students to be wary of cats. By April 2016, 22 cats have been identified.

DLSU-PUSA founding member and Philosophy professor Laureen Velasco managed to identify the main perpetrator of the attacks, who eventually became known as “Archer.”

“He is too friendly. He will approach you, but if you don’t have food, he will scratch,” she shared with The Lasallian.

Velasco then created DLSU-PUSA along with Dr. Jeane Peracullo, Dr. Maria Guadalupe Salanga, Dr. Laurene Chua-Garcia and Dr. Elaine Tolentino with the aim to look out for cats within the campus.

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The organization conducts regular feeding programs and neuter-spay events to sterilize cats. Apart from that, each of them is given anti-rabies shots by the Physical Facilities Office. Cat food is also donated to the organization by well-intentioned professors.

According to Metro, cats are scientifically proven to be beneficial to a person’s health. They can lower the risk of a heart disease, heal human bones, tendons and muscles with their purr and reportedly improve one’s mental well-being.

A survey conducted by Cats Protection found out that 87 percent of 600 cat owners feel that their pets have a positive impact on their health. — Video from Archers Network via Facebook; Photo from Carmel Puertollano via Facebook