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Why you should adopt stray pets

by Gaby Agbulos

ACCORDING TO the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS Philippines), there are over 12 million stray dogs in the country. The number of stray cats is estimated to be about the same.

Many of these animals suffer abuse from others or die as a result of disease or starvation.

This is why so many started putting up adoption shelters across the country: to help these furbabies someday find their forever home. 

The joys of adoption

Neil Sahijwani, a 21-year-old third-year student from De La Salle University, fell in love with Molly at first sight. He found the stray Calico cat in his mother’s friend’s garage and has been taking care of her for five months since then.

When asked why they took her in, Sahijwani explained that it was because of the cat’s situation. 

“She was abandoned by her mother, and my mom’s friend was the one taking care of her for about two weeks before we adopted Molly,” he said. 

“There are many stray cats on the street, and adopting Molly would’ve helped save at least one of them.” 

Though Sahijwani’s mother was initially skeptical of adopting a cat, he helped her realize that the cat deserved a loving home, just like every other pet in the world.

Sahijwani says happily: “She’s a really interesting and curious cat; she loves watching the birds outside my window, and she loves being around my other pets.”

For Sahijwani, the experience has been smooth sailing so far.


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Meanwhile, Fhranzes Salvador, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student at Laguna State Polytechnic University, adopted her Siamese cat, Perrie, in June 2020.

“We got Perrie from some relative, and their reason for putting her up for adoption is too many cats na, so my mom asked me if I wanna adopt her, and I said yes,” she said. 

“I remember it was nighttime and sinundo namin siya, and the first thing she did was lay on my lap. I loved every second of it; feeling ko chosen one ako.”

Salvador has been a cat mom since 2020, and her adopted feline family has grown to seven since then. She says that while she loves them, the job isn’t always easy.

Pros and cons

Adopting a pet helps you feel more responsible and gives you a sense of fulfillment, says Salvador. It fills her with warmth to take stray animals off the streets, so their suffering will be no more.

For the pros, she lists the free love and happiness she gets from her cat. Sahijwani, on the other hand, likes that his dog Sasha has a new playmate.

He reminisced on the fact that before he’d gotten Molly, he would feed stray cats in their garage, wherein his dog Sasha would just watch them from afar; now that they finally have a cat, Sasha loves her company. 

For the cons, she says that it would be the expenses.

“My mother provides everything my pets need, but I can’t lie: their needs are expensive, [and] to think that I’m still studying, [so] I don’t have a job to provide for the cats,” she admitted.

Sahijwani also says that it may take some time for your pets to get used to one another; they may not click right away. 

“I did have some days where I wasn’t sure if I did the right thing by adopting Molly–maybe she didn’t like being trapped in a house, or maybe she didn’t like people enough to be around them too much,” he admitted.

“I just wanted to do what was best for Molly, and it all came down to knowing if you could provide the love and care they need. Adopting a pet is exciting and fun–and it should be–but don’t lose sight of doing what’s right for your pet because that’s the only thing that matters when you adopt.”

You can do it, too!

If you think you can handle it, why not adopt a pet today? Though it may not be an easy task, the love and trust you receive from these animals will make everything worth it. As said beautifully by Sahijwani, adopting a pet means saving their lives, and every animal is deserving of love and care. 

Here are some places you can go to adopt a cat or a dog in the Philippines:

  1. Lara’s Ark

With two branches located at Calbayog Street in Mandaluyong City and JP Laurel Street in Nasugbu City, respectively, this organization that started as a small emergency disaster relief operation team has since bloomed into one that helps find new homes for hundreds of cats and dogs each passing day.

If you follow their social media pages–they have Facebook and IG–you’ll see that they document the lives of their rescued animals; from when they are first found, bleeding and abandoned, to when they are finally put into their forever home, clean and happy, with wagging tails to match.

They charge just P1,000 for the adoption fee, and all you need to do is schedule an interview with them and see how it goes from there.

Lara’s Ark is an organization that cares from start to finish, and that shows.

  1. Pawssion Project

Currently, the Pawssion Project Foundation, Inc., has two shelters. One can be found on Tungkong Mangga in Bulacan, and the other on GM Cordova Avenue in Bacolod, Negros Occidental. This non-profit organization is focused on rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming animals in desperate need of some love.

So far, they’ve rescued over 2,000 animals, sheltered over 600, and rehomed over 1,030 of them, giving thousands of animals a chance at starting life anew.

Aside from this, they also have other programs aimed at helping animals: they take time out of their days to feed stray animals, for example, and they organize relief drives to help the pets of others. And of course, just like every other shelter on this list, they provide spaying and neutering services, too.

  1. Philippine Animal Rescue Team (PART)

According to blogger Chelse Sayo, PART is the Philippines’ only no-kill animal rescue organization that’s also registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. They can be found on Maulawin Street in Pagsanjan, Laguna, and it only costs P500 to adopt a dog and P200 for a cat.

They provide community outreach as well as rescue education on topics like spotting animal cruelty, spaying and neutering pets, and telling the truth about what pounds are really like. 

While PART does not have an in-house veterinary clinic, they travel to the nearest vet for their animals to ensure that they’re always in tip-top shape.

  1. CARA Welfare Philippines

Compassion and Responsibility for Animals, or CARA Welfare Philippines, is a non-profit and non-government organization. 

They help animals by spaying and neutering animals both inside and outside the establishment, rehabilitating animals and helping them find new homes through adoption, promoting no-kill pounds as well as no-kill shelters, and even giving vet consultations for low prices for those that can’t afford to go to a fancy veterinarian.

According to their website, the CARA Clinic has helped to spay and neuter over 26,000 cats and 630 dogs thus far. They are currently located on Samat Street in Rizal, Mandaluyong City.

And no, this organization is not a shelter. But they can help you find the perfect furry friend for you regardless.

  1. PAWS Philippines

Located on Aurora Boulevard in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, this volunteer-based non-government organization rescues animals and then rehabilitates them for adoption. 

PAWS Philippines has several different programs for animals; one, for example, is their spaying and neutering service, which can be done at a very low price: P700 for cats, and P1,500 for dogs.

Another program of theirs, Humane Education, is a series of seminars and talks that tries to raise awareness of animal welfare and lessen the negative beliefs people may have when it comes to animals.

Aside from helping to rehabilitate animals, PAWS also helps fight for the rights of those that they shelter; in the past, they were key to the signing of the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, and the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007.

All of these pages currently have animals for adoption. If you can’t adopt, go to their social media pages anyway and try to donate. These organizations operate almost solely on donations that they receive, so any amount can make a difference.



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