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4th Impact's Almira Cercado breaks silence over dogs' 'dreamland': 'Please stop the hate and spread love'

By Yoniel Acebuche Published Apr 16, 2024 11:59 am

4th Impact member and the eldest of the group, Almira Cercado, finally spoke up about the issue that surrounds the group, saying she will defend them until the end.

On Instagram, Almira shared a carousel post that included a childhood photo of her and her sisters, and her lengthy statement.

"PLS STOP THE HATE and SPREAD LOVE. I will not let anyone stop our dreams. I will defend my group and my family. My sisters are the most amazing humans I know," she captioned the post, adding a hashtag #notocyberbullying.

In case you didn't know, the Pinoy girl group drew flak on the internet last month over their fundraising campaign for the construction of their 200 dogs' "dreamland," with some calling the move "irresponsible pet ownership" and "ridiculous."

Almira put up a GoFundMe page on Feb. 28 "to help them relocate their scores of pooches to a new home." The campaign, originally titled "Farm Lot for our 200 Shih Tzu dogs," was shared by 4th Impact's Mira on her social media profile shortly after.

In the description, Elvira explained how she and her sisters were given five shih tzu puppies by their fans. Although the gift surprised them, she said they still took on the challenge of caring for the puppies well.

Their total target for donations was $10,000 (P560,275), but they only reached P46,200 on Mar. 2.

'I am so sad and alone inside'

Almira began her statement by saying that even though they had reached advice from a priest, friends who knew the law, and their parents, the bashing was "too much to contain" as a human.

"There is no need to explain everything because I know it won't change the opinions of others, but I feel like, as the eldest of the group, I have to protect my sisters from the harm of cyberbullying," she noted.

Almira went on to explain that the "five Shih Tzu were from different fans" and that they are not related to each other. The dogs multiplied "so fast" that they had already given them to some of their friends who are "capable of taking care of them."

"Believe me, it took so much heartache before we [had] to let go of them," Almira added.

Meanwhile, she also addressed the issue of attending the "Eras Tour" amid the issue.

In her defense, Almira said that they attended the concert in Sofi Stadium, in Los Angeles last Aug. 2023, and not in Singapore. According to her, the tickets were just a gift from their fans, whom they called Dreamers.

"It's a last ticket purchase, so even [though] we are in destructive view, we still enjoyed watching Taylor Swift," she said, adding that their fans also gifted them tickets to see Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and Katy Perry.

'One of the biggest challenges of our lives'

The statement continued with Almira narrating how she started the GoFundMe page. She said that they received a noise complaint from their neighbor, so they were "forced to find another place for our male dogs."

"I made a GoFundMe page cause I believe we have Dreamers who know our story and that they will support my vision of putting up a farm," she added while highlighting that the funds were already refunded to their fans minutes after the page was deleted.

"I guess I didn't think carefully before I did it because I will do anything in legal way just to provide for our dogs," Almira continued.

'We are NEVER irresponsible pet owners'

Almira continued by letting everyone know that they are closing this chapter of their lives, emphasizing that their dogs are their only stress reliever and they "meant the world to us, so we will do anything to provide for them."

"We will work harder to buy them a farm one day, it's not gonna be easy but I know we will get there," she said. "People say we are 4 impactas, no impact, madam inutz variants, name everything you want but I don't care... As long [as] we are stepping on someone, we will be proud that singing is our bread and butter. Marami pa kaming mission and we sing because of that purpose."

Almira pleaded with the public to stop the bashing. She also said that they would continue to pursue their dreams despite the challenges.

Backyard breeding is against Philippine law

A user named Doc Gab - Veterinarian took to Instagram to educate the public on why backyard breeding and inbreeding of dogs should not be supported by all means.

"Sa dami ng mga nahihirapan na mga shelters at rescuers, nakakalungkot na makakita ng ganitong sitwasyon — purebreed dog na nagsimula sa 5, ngayon ay 200 na," he began his post. "Hindi sapat na mayroon silang pagkain at tirahan, dapat ay sapat, maayos at tama ito para sa kanila."

The poster also stressed that "backyard breeding" is against Philippine law. "Ang pagpaparami ng mga alagang hayop through “mating” sa sariling bahay na walang kaukulang permit ay tinatawag na “backyard breeding” at ito po ay illegal. Lalo na kung ang mga ito ay ibinebenta o pinagkakakitaan."

According to Section 2 of the Animal Welfare Act or RA 8485, no persons, association, partnership, corporation, cooperative, or any government agency or instrumentality in the country "shall establish, maintain, and operate any pet shop, kennel, veterinary clinic, veterinary hospital, stockyard, corral, stud farm or zoo for the breeding, treatment, sale or trading, or training of animals without first securing from the Bureau of Animal Industry a certificate of registration."

This certificate, meanwhile, will only be issued to establishments if they are "adequate, clean, and sanitary and will not be used for, nor cause pain and/or suffering to the animals."

4th Impact is composed of siblings Almira, Irene, Mylene, and Celina, who all hail from Roxas, Isabela.

They rose to fame when the quartet joined the twelfth season of The X Factor UK in 2015. They finished the talent competition among its Top 5 finalists. Their hits include All At Once, Here We Go, Leave the Door, and Pasulyap-sulyap, among others.