Bolanle Hassan, an advocate of the pet community, has stated that pets offer positive physical and mental benefits such as curbing depression, security checks and serving as a guide for the blind or offering assistance to their owners who are disabled.
She expressed her concern that despite these traits, Nigeria does not have stand-alone legislation regarding animal welfare, leaving pet owners to cater to their pets as they wish, with little or no knowledge of the right things to do.
According to reports, the Veterinary Council of Nigeria has 9,000 registered members, but only 3,500 are actively practicing veterinarians. The rest are in different professions or no longer in the country. This also burdens most pet lovers with the responsibility of catering to their pet’s need themselves.
Speaking on the perceived neglects towards pet lovers in Nigeria and her passion towards helping to change the narrative, Hassan, the founder of Petmi, a Nigerian-based pet community, said, “I’ve heard a lot of cases where people lose their pets, not as a result of natural death but mostly because the owners are ignorant of how to care for them.
“This drove me to start a blog “Woofline Pets” to write about dogs and how to care for them, and in February this year, we launched the Woofline Pets app and have since garnered over 7000 members within its community, making it the leading app community for pet owners and lovers in Nigeria.”
According to her, pet lovers who sign up to the platform are able to share photos of their pets, chat with other pet lovers, ask pet health questions and have them answered by vet doctors, search for pet services and enjoy many more features.
She stated that with a rising passion for other pets such as cats, birds, bunnies and more, Woofline Pets has chosen to widen its range by transitioning to Petmi, bearing confidence that this change will enhance and make every user’s experience better, while bringing pet lovers from everywhere closer.
“Even though responsibility for animal welfare in Nigeria is assigned to the Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, I believe this development will greatly give credibility to the pet business in Nigeria as Petmi is not only a social media platform but also a marketplace for pet lovers,” Hassan said.