We had set the day of our feeding program with the Philippine Animal Welfare Society on July 13th, Thursday. We have been told that the shelter is always busy and full of activities during the weekends so we will not be able to do it on a Saturday and they are closed during Sundays. We have decided to file our vacation leaves in order to be accommodated. At seven in the morning I woke up with excitement despite lack of sleep, I was very eager to see the dogs and the cats in the shelter and I still needed to cook the sawdust that I got assigned to buy and prepare. I decided to volunteer and buy sawdust because I have a dog and I also feed him sawdust, so I know where to buy it. I got mine from a local grocery in Pasig and they provided me not just with sawdust but with scrap meat, perhaps these were meat that they were not able to sell but still in good condition. I cooked everything together with my mom, Sheryl, Mat and Carl. It was fun having them at home and they also the dog of my mom, Max. The sawdust needed to be cooked in water with no other seasoning. I know that salt is not good for dogs as they can also have internal complications if fed with salty food.
After cooking and preparing other materials, we went straight to the shelter. It was raining hard and I hoped and prayed that it would not be raining in PAWS, when finally we arrived in Marikina, it was as if it had not rained but rain clouds were still following so I assumed it would be raining in the shelter in a few. It was my first time to enter the compound and I was really excited to know more on how it operates and meet the dogs and cats. We registered and waited for our other group mates to arrive. As we were waiting we were given the freedom to roam around and pet the feral cats. They were fat!!! 😀 They were very friendly as well. The cats let us pet them and most of the time they would come and rub their heads and body around our legs. I am not much of a cat person but I still like them. It was actually great that the cats trusted humans there as they do not run away when we approach. I rarely see cats like those anymore, because most cats in our village usually run away and do not trust humans. There were boards with descriptions and names on the wall. We assumed these are the names of the cats and the dogs in the shelter. It was also indicated in the board that those dogs with blue collars are adoptable and those with red collars are not.
Once we were complete, we were asked to prepare the food so we gathered up and mixed sawdust and rice for the dogs in one basin and the Galungong fish and squash in another for the cats. While mixing, it had already started to rain. It was a heavy downpour and so we had to wait until it stopped because obviously we cannot feed the dogs and the cats while it was raining. The shelter where the dogs stayed had a roof but most of them are fed outside of their cages. We also noticed that there were other dogs in the compound; these were the veterinary patients in queue waiting for their turn to get a check-up.
Once it stopped raining, Kuya Arvin assisted in dividing the food for both the dogs and the cats. We were not really allowed to enter the cages because the attendants need pre-exposure to the dog so that trust is built and all of their attendants have vaccines for rabies. We really did not want to risk that so we were happy to feed the feral cats roaming around. These cats are not actually rescue cats, but rather cats that had invited themselves in the compound; they discovered they had free food there and humans are nice so they have been the regular residents of PAWS. The shelter cats are those cats in cages but they already have their name tags (I saw one with Kevin! 🙂 ).
Ms. Sharon Yap, the volunteer whom we talked to was very accommodating and she had explained how PAWS manages the daily activities inside the shelter. She had encouraged us to volunteer and I will be submitting my form before August 5 because I need to attend the whole day orientation on August 12. I want to do more for these animals.