When Ken was just 8-years-old, he knew what he was destined to do. His passion for animals, coupled with the sad state of strays in his native Philippines, compelled the young boy towards a lifelong dream. Creating a safe space for the stray cats and dogs of his neighborhood to come and heal; eat, drink and feel loved by a little boy with a heart of gold. Ken dreamt of his own rescue shelter, but his father firmly reminded him that this was no part time undertaking.
“I love animals. I have one rescue dog and two rescue cats. Ever since I can remember I wanted to open an animal shelter to help the stray dogs and cats on the streets. My dad told me it would take a lot of money and 20 years for me to get an animal shelter. He said only grown ups can raise enough money to start an animal shelter.”
A year later, Ken’s commitment to his goals was as strong as ever. His dreams for his own animal shelter seemed a world away, but fate would have it that Ken’s compassion would not remain unnoticed. Pictures of Ken feeding stray dogs on the streets began circulating the internet, and soon enough, benefactors from around the globe were eagerly sending donations to the young boy.
“Some very kind people who saw these pictures donated money to help me care for the dogs. In addition, I got enough money to start an animal shelter. On May 1, 2014, I leased a 1,000 square meter (10,000 square feet) lot for one year. It cost 66,000 pesos ($1,500).”
Ken’s Shelter Is A Big Hit With The Locals
With the money for a shelter siting squarely in the palms of the now 9-year-old, Ken didn’t waste a second getting to work. He purchased quality dog food for his pups, watching the broken-down creatures become whole again.
“We got enough money to get the dogs I was feeding off the street, feed them high quality canned food, and provide them with veterinary care. They gained a LOT of weight, their open wounds healed, and their fur grew back. They also learned not to be scared of humans.”
And so the Happy Animals Club was born. The 9-year-old rented out 10,000 square feet of space for a full year, costing him a grand total of $1500. Ken enlisted the help of his ‘involunteer’ father and friends to build the shelter. The main goal of the project being the rescue of animals from euthanasia.
“The official at the pound said most dogs are put down because only 20-30% of owners claim their dogs, and no animal welfare organization was doing something about it… I want to save as many of those dogs as possible from being killed for no reason.”
The next step in the saga of Happy Animals Club? Raising even more money to afford taking care of his new shelter pups and cats. It’s a journey of love after all.