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November 08, 2011

BY GIANNA B. VILLAVICENCIO

Breeding a Business

Literally raining cats and dogs might be welcome weather for Ronald Daquiz and Johanna Cid, two animal enthusiasts and pet breeders who manage their businesses solo.


Mr. Daquiz started Pinoy Munchkins Cattery as a sideline but had always been passionate about pets long before that. He used to breed dogs and once owned a fish farm in Pila, Laguna. “My wife used to tease me that I was [biblical figure] Noah in a past life,” he said in an interview.

It was Mr. Daquiz’s friend, Dr. Neil Cruz, who convinced him to try cat breeding in early 2006. He also found that cats weren’t as high maintenance as puppies.

Although Mr. Daquiz ventured into the business alone, he eventually made Dr. Cruz the resident veterinarian and business consultant for Pinoy Munchkins.

The cattery is in a Makati compound and offers two cat types which Mr. Daquiz said are new to the Philippines. Munchkins are medium-sized cats with the distinctive trait of short limbs. Napoleons are a hybrid of Persian cats and munchkins.

Mid-2006, Mr. Daquiz met a woman from Texas who was willing to sell him three pairs of munchkin kittens. Initial challenges included getting permits from places like the Bureau of Animal Industry and complying with weather conditions, as airlines have strict regulations on shipping animals.

He officially started breeding and selling cats in 2007 because it took about a year to get the kittens to Manila. Also, he said that when the delivery was finally made, learning about the breed was tricky at first, as combination and timing play key roles in maximizing the number of munchkins in a litter. “Breeding them is not easy because not all kittens in a litter will be [munchkins], so that’s why they are a bit pricey,” said Mr. Daquiz.

Mr. Daquiz currently houses 30 cats, but he once cared for up to 60 altogether. He used to be very hands-on with the business, visiting the Pinoy Munchkins center everyday. Now, as his schedule has gotten busier, he lets a helper watch over the cats while he manages operations.

Also, Mr. Daquiz provides his customers with online documents for proper pet care and encourages them to turn to Dr. Cruz for extra tips. Mr. Daquiz advises Filipinos to buy munchkins and napoleons locally, as it will come out cheaper than having to order them abroad. As for future plans, he is working on improving the lineage of his cats.

Ms. Cid of Pawow Paw Pet Breeder and Sales is another animal lover, though her business arose through a school assignment. A requirement of her entrepreneurial management course at the University of Asia and the Pacific was to create a business. “I thought of dog breeding right away,” said the fresh graduate in an email.

Growing up an only child, she had always loved the company of pooches. “They were like my siblings. I’ve been dog breeding since I was a kid and always wanted to make it into a real business. At first my parents thought it was a joke,” she said.

Ms. Cid has been running Pawow Paw for a year now at her home in Marikina. She now has 17 dogs, which include chihuahuas, pomeranians, shih tzus, beagles, yorkies, and golden retrievers. She acquires only female dogs so that they can produce puppies.

On starting the business alone, Ms. Cid said that getting permits were the hardest part. She cited bookkeeping as another challenge. “Since my business needs only minimal accounting, I decided to do the bookkeeping on my own,” she said.

While Ms. Cid has no business partners, household helpers double as dog caretakers whenever she is not around. She said that operating from home is advantageous because of easy access and a nearby target market. The only limitation is that she has to ensure that her pooches do not bother the neighbors.

After making a sale, Ms. Cid gives her clients a short talk on proper pet care. “I ask them to keep in touch with me if ever there are problems. I also give them free dog food for one week,” she said.

Both Mr. Daquiz and Ms. Cid like the way pet breeding not only allows them to express their passion for animals, but also enables them to earn well. Mr. Daquiz said that his earnings from Pinoy Munchkins are enough to put his daughter through school, while Ms. Cid said Pawow Paw teaches her to be responsible at an early age. “Since I graduated, I do not ask [for] money from my parents anymore.”

Feline fanciers can email inquiry@pinoymunchkins.com for more information on Pinoy Munchkins Cattery. They can also reach Ronald Daquiz through Dr. Neil Cruz at 2189 Stall G FeliMarc Pet Center, A. Luna St. Pasay City. For those who are more into canines, contact Johanna Cid of Pawow Paw Pet Breeder and Sales at 09178988374.


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