Let's start a dog shelter!

DOGS!!!

So Khanyisa and I have been living in the Philippines now for almost 10 months. Our plan was to only stay 6 months, but somewhere between week 2 and 3 we fell in love with a puppy – Charlie – and decided to stay.

Charlie
      *Baby Charlie with Khanyisa and me (Julie)

Our puppy’s mother… who we’ve named ‘mama’ gave birth underneath our neighbor’s bamboo house. The weeks after mama gave birth she started to get very very skinny, and I couldn’t understand why the neighbors weren’t feeding mama, since they were feeding their dog Alco - the puppies’ father. So I decided to start feeding mama, so that she could produce enough milk for the 6 puppies. The four young children next door used to watch Khanyisa and I feed mama and would always ask us, “What is that mommy Julie?” I’d reply nonchalantly, “oh just rice and chicken/fish.” After a few days Khanyisa told me that the kids had given her dirty looks when she was feeding mama and the puppies. And the next day when I fed them, I noticed that the kids were scowling at me. So, thinking maybe they were hungry, I invited the kids in for lunch and made them some hot dogs. They couldn’t stop smiling. The next day after feeding the dogs, the kids’ mom asked if I could feed her kids. I quickly said yes, knowing it must have taken a lot for her to cast aside her pride and ask the foreigner to help. The kids are super cute, 3 girls and 1 newborn boy and now every few days 1 or 2 of them are in our house eating.

                 *Lisa Jean (10 years old), John Jayo (9 months), and Kissy (3 years old) {May Ann (8 years old) not pictured]

When they’re not eating at our house, they eat rice with water for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with the occasion wild vegetables, or fish that their father has caught. So I completely understand why they were scowling at me that day and why they weren’t feeding mama - they already had a dog, so the idea of taking care of another dog when they had barely enough food for their four young children was out of the question.

I remember saying to Khanyisa in the beginning when I started noticing the amount of homeless, scrawny dogs that it be great to start a dog shelter to rehabilitate dogs who have been beaten and to provide homes and love for dogs who have neither. I thought we’d have plenty of time to start a business here, make some money, slowly buy land and start the shelter. But what started with 1 cute puppy 10 months ago has quickly become 12 dogs living in my tiny yard. Somehow word spread among the dog community that there are these nice ladies living in the village that will feed and love you. People in the community have even started leaving their dogs outside of our gate hoping that we’ll take them in.

The dogs have decided they can’t wait for us to slowly start their dog shelter, they’ve started it already. But we need more space. We’ve found some really cheap land a bit north of here, 1 hectare (2.5 acres) for only $2400. We’re going to use half of the land for the dogs, so they can run around and have fun and the other half we are going to use it to grow rice, potatoes, and start a fish farm to cover their food needs. We’ll also build some basic cabins for volunteers/interns to stay at on the farm.

So please help us this Christmas season by giving these wonderful dogs a home!

*The dogs! [Clockwise from top: 1. Bambi seeping, 2. Grandma's 6 puppies (3 weeks old), 3. Elliot, Charlie (9 months old), Mama, and Spot at the beach, 4. Grandma (Charlie's grandma, Mama's mom)]

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Meet mama:

Mama

Meet mama: Our puppy Charlie’s mother, whose previous owners severely beat her to the point that every time I tried to touch her she’d jerk away. But after feeding and talking to her daily, after 5 months we had a major breakthrough. Charlie was being chased by this massive dog who looked like she wanted to kill Charlie. I tried to run after her to help her, but I couldn’t keep up with them, all I could do was shout run Charlie run! Mama came out of nowhere, chased down the giant dog, threw herself on the dog, and started attacking it. The dog was so startled it backed off, instantly freeing Charlie. I was so proud of mama. I caught up with them and bent over to tell mama thank you for protecting Charlie and she jumped on me and started licking me everywhere. My heart swelled. I’d been trying to touch mama for 5 months, but could not get near her and now here she was pouring out love on me. It was such an amazing experience. The next 5 months mama became the sweetest dog ever. Every time she saw me she couldn’t contain her excitement and she’d leap into the air to kiss my face. And it wasn’t just me, she discovered this new found love for people and she started kissing everyone and jumping on the kids. The jumping, though, has scared a couple of the kids so now I’m teaching her to sit when she greets people. She’s learning fast, but it’s hard for her to contain her affection. What we’ve been able to do with mama is what we want to do with dogs at the farm/shelter – show them that there are good people who won’t beat them and will love and take care of them.

So help us help dogs like mama this Christmas season to have a home and find love!

P.S. Mama gave birth to another litter of 3 puppies 5 days ago!




Logistics Details:

- We’ll set up an adoption program to help get these dogs into good homes
- We'll host volunteer/interns/woofers to help manage the farm and love on the dogs
- We'll hire a couple full-time local staff to oversee day to day operations
- We'll build a few basic cabins for staff/volunteers/interns to stay at on the farm
- We'll work with Palawan Animal Welfare Association to bring in a veterinarian to give the dogs needed shots and neuter the female dogs
- We'll host local and international veterinarian students as interns so that they can have hands-on-practice
- We'll start an organic farm & fish farm to feed to dogs as well as grow crops to supplement the staff/volunteers diet
- We'll host local school visitation programs to raise awareness about animal welfare and gardening

Price Breakdown:

Land Acquisitions & Lawyer fees: $2,400
Cabins Construction: $3000
Veterinarian Shots / Neutering: $500
Initial food supplies, seeds, & gardening equipment: $500
Fencing: $100
Local Staff Salaries: Covered by Agape Love Foundation (www.AgapeLoveFoundation.org)
Total = $6500

Sustainability:

The dog shelter/farm is designed to be a  fully functional, self-sustaining operation. The farm will produce majority of the dogs' dietary needs (if not all) and then the cabins will provide a supplemental source of income. Volunteers/interns/visitors will be asked to pay a small fee for their accommodation while at the farm (~$3 to $5). This fee will be used to purchase any addition food supplies needed for the dogs, cover the dogs medical expenses, and eventually cover the full-time local staff salaries. Since everything is very inexpensive in the Philippines not much capital is needed to start or sustain operations. Additionally as we are living here we'll be able to check on the farm and ensure it is running smoothly.

Final Note :-)
As Agape Love Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization all contributions by US donors are tax deductible.

Our scholarship program for Filipino youth is going great check out our updates here!

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