Archive for the ‘Philippines’ Category

posted by Michel on Oct 13

Last Monday 11 October, we started the day bright and early by picking up the first batch of dogs for the spay / neuter session at Aklan State University. Our contact Moien, the young lady who’s looking after the dogs, had already put them in our travel crates so they were ready to go. It was a bit cramped so it took two runs to get them all there.

After 18 operations and over 12 hours later, we found ourselves getting them all in our kennels for recuperation. We’ll change their bandages and make sure they eat and drink well before returning them to Moien. Thanks to all our donors for your support and many thanks to the students of ASU who did an awesome job!

posted by Michel on Oct 5

Thanks to donations from Mrs. Gitta van der Kleij, Lorna Santos, Niels van Brecht and the kind people of Wheelchairs for Dogs, Vincent got his wheels recently. Today, on World Animal Day 2011, I had the chance to look him up in Cebu City.

He still needs to work on his strength and skills, so Jay and Karen Mottern let him practise 30mins a day in his wheelchair. Soon he’ll be able to go for longer walks and as you can see in the picture, as soon as he’s in his wheelchair he already knows he can move around so much more easily and without pain.

Well done everybody, I think this is one of the best World Animal Day presents I can imagine!

Vincent in his wheelchair

posted by Michel on Aug 14

Please meet Vincent. Vincent is a young disabled dog in the Philippines that cannot use his hind legs. He was found in this state on the streets of Cebu City by his rescuers with an air rifle pellet still lodged in his spine. AARRC (Aklan Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center) wants to adopt Vincent and provide him with a wheelchair because at our facilities he will be able to go anywhere due to the solid surface. A dog wheelchair will cost around EUR 300 (some US$350). Please help Vincent with a donation. See the Paypal link or bank transfer details to the right!

Vincent desperately needs a wheelchair

Vincent desperately needs a wheelchair

Vincent is currently in the care of the Mottern family who are members of  our IRO friends in Cebu. Thanks to Jay and Karen for fostering this brave little fellow. Excellent job!

posted by Michel on Jun 19

Every now and then, kind people donate stuff for our animals that is extremely welcome. This ranges from rather mundane sounding items such as bed sheets, blankets and towels, to dog collars and leashes, baskets for the animals to lie in, tennis balls to play with, cat litter boxes, transport cages, medical supplies and so on and so forth. There’s only one problem though: how to get all these things to the Philippines for a decent price? Well, as it happens we found a forwarder who specialises in transporting so-called balikbayan boxes that has a heart for animals and agreed to do his thing at a discounted price.

First of all, we had to sort through all the items and divide them over the 3 Island Rescue Organization locations: Cebu City, Catbalogan in Samar and ourselves in Kalibo.

Sorting through donations for the 3 IRO locations: Kalibo, Catbalogan and Cebu

Next, everything must be packed in cardboard boxes so that it withstands the trip overseas in a 30 or 40 foot container.

Everything packed and ready to go.

Finally, our van is loaded up to deliver the goods to ELJO Balikbayan Box in Belgium.

Off to Belgium to catch the next container.

None of this would have been possible without Nanda de Jong, Dierenasiel Rotterdam, Stichting Streekdierenthuis ‘t Julialaantje and Elvie and Johan of ELJO Balikbayan Box, pardon the shameless plug but they deserve it! ;-)

posted by Michel on May 30

Our friends at IRO alerted me to the following, extremely interesting article. I’m reproducing it here, if not for our own reference later. The original can be found on NaturalNews’ web site.

We’ve all heard the term “mangy dog,” which is usually applied jokingly or derogatorily to disheveled and/or disreputable people. However, actual mangy dogs are no laughing matter since the disease known as mange can be both dangerous and result in considerable suffering. Fortunately for such dogs and their owners, there are a number of natural remedies that can eliminate mange.

Mange is an inflammatory disease most often found in dogs. This condition results from an infestation of mites in the skin and hair follicles. Anybody who has treated a dog with mange using conventional treatment knows exactly how ill their pet can become.

There are two types of mange that affect dogs. The most common type is demodectic mange (also known as red mange), and the less common one is sarcoptic mange: each named after the type of mite which has infested the dog. Actually, healthy dogs very often house a small community of demodectic mites on their skin. It is when the dog’s immune system becomes compromised allowing the mites to overpopulate that mange results.

Left untreated, mange can become life threatening. Symptoms include alopecia (hair loss), skin lesions, dehydration, weight loss, excessive scratching, and loss of appetite. Mange can surface throughout the body, with crusty patches appearing on the head, face, ears, and neck. The hair loss can be severe enough to show patches of baldness. A crusty discharge sometimes emanates from the ears and brown marks may appear on and around the nose.

The following remedies have been effective in preventing and treating a pet with mange:

  • A mixture of hydrogen peroxide and borax is one of the best remedies used for mange. However, be sure to not confuse borax with boric acid. Use one to two tablespoons of borax for every 500 cc of 1% hydrogen peroxide, making sure that it thoroughly dissolves. Bathe the dog in it once a week. Do not rinse off and do not wipe the dog dry. Let the solution dry naturally so that it can be absorbed by the skin. Please note that this treatment should not be used longer than a two month period.
  • Regular bathing and brushing helps remove scaly skin and scabs.
  • Colloidal silver is an excellent way of ridding the body of any type of infection. Apply topically to all affected areas, including the inside of the ears and also put in the dog’s water daily.
  • Acidophilus is effective in eliminating mange from inside the ears. Wash the inside of the ears with no more than two tablespoons of plain yogurt.
  • Raw apple cider vinegar is effective when applied topically and when mixed in the dog’s meal. One tablespoon mixed in his food should be sufficient.
  • A couple of drops of olive oil applied to the mangy skin patches not only will soothe the irritated skin, but will also be effective in killing the mites.
  • Drop a sliced lemon with the peels still left in tact into boiling water and let steep overnight. Using a sponge, apply the mixture to the dog’s coat.
  • Honey has astonishing antiseptic, antioxidant, and cleansing qualities. Apply raw honey to affected areas.
  • Make sure to wash all bedding and keep it as sterile as possible until the dog recovers.

Feeding a dog properly and adding dietary supplements is an important part of healing. A raw diet is strongly recommended, as it facilitates healing and is the best way to insure your pet’s health.

Supplements that help alleviate itch and improve skin conditions are vitamin E, vitamin C, and fish oil.

posted by Michel on May 2

Last February, our beautiful Agua won the beauty contest for Best Aspin (Asong Pinoy, Philippine native dog) at the 9th Annual Veterinary Medicine Week in Kalibo, organised by the Aklan State University. Wow, we have a real “Miss” in our family!!! Thanks to our volunteer Nicky for representing AARRC at this event …


Agua's certificate of recognition

Agua's certificate of recognition

posted by Michel on Mar 12

In the previous post, about the video clip on how we rescued GM from mange, I also mentioned our volunteer Claudia. I think it is time to put the spotlight on her, since she has been doing such great job with the kittens, earning her the honorary title “Kitten Mum” … Make no mistake, raising kittens is hard work. When they’re new born and there is no mother to feed them, they need to be fed lactose-free milk (from a powder) every 2 hours, all through day and night.

Therefore, I would like to introduce you to Claudia Baks-Schulz, originally from Hamburg, Germany and now living in Kalibo. She has already raised a number of kittens for us and we know for a fact that a lot of our especially younger cats would not have survived without her. In the picture below she’s holding Tommy and Jerry (r). Jerry is the last surviving (of 2) kittens rescued by the owners of the Blue Starfish Resort in Tangalan and Tommy is the last survivor (of 5) kittens that were born at AARRC after we had caught the mother at Kalibo Airport late January.

Claudia, well done and maraming salamat!

Claudia, our Kitten Mum

Claudia, our Kitten Mum

posted by Michel on Mar 10

First of all, a few updates on our shelter animals. Of the 5 kittens that were born at AARRC in early February, only 1 has survived so far. He is called Tommy and now in the care of our volunteer Claudia who has good experience raising small kittens. One of the 2 Blue Starfish kittens also died. We think she fell down after climbing. She will be missed as she was such a delightful little thing … Her brother, Jerry, is also with Claudia. Our puppies Jiji, Tita and Pablo are doing well.

Let’s move on to that clip. Well, our volunteers Sanne, Bernard and myself have been taking videos while doing our projects last November and February and I will be making complete clips from all of these fragments. The first of that series was finished just last night and here’s the link on YouTube:

Rescuing GM

The description is: Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines – GM is a young female dog that popped up in our headlights one evening. She was obviously in distress: her body was covered in mange and she didn’t have any fur left. Instead her skin had already started to keratinise and she had lots of open wounds. Fortunately, our foundation, the Aklan Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (AARRC) together with partners and volunteers, saved her!

GM, the subject of our first video clip

GM, the subject of our first video clip

posted by Michel on Feb 23

Where we are in the Philippines, they don’t sell the more traditional cat grit in efficient quantities or at affordable prices. Well, at least not for someone who’s running an animal rescue that is. The local “Handyman” does have cat grit in small quantities, but it doesn’t clump and it’s too expensive. Our catteries and kennels have a gutter that connects to a separate septic tank, but we don’t want that to fill up with grit rather than the “real business”. So we had to come up with some sort of recycling system. When our builders turned out to be working with just the right size of locally freely available grit for their concrete, I had an idea …

Cat grit recycle system

Cat grit recycle system

First step was to create a sieve which filters the pebbles to the size that we want or smaller. I used a strong piece of metal to fashion a ring and fishing net. Then we need a sieve with somewhat smaller holes than the first one to separate the “solids” from the pebbles. The best thing I could find was a plastic variety of chicken wire. Finally, we need 3 plastic bins that fit inside the metal ring and a “shower head” spray gun attached to the garden hose and you’re good to go!

  1. Get the first load of (relatively) clean grit by putting the sieve with the metal ring over the “clean” bin and shovel the grit on top while an assistant moves the sieve around a bit
  2. Twice a day, we put the contents of the litter boxes on top of the sieve while it rests on the “dirty” bin. The grit itself will fall through and the “solids” go into the gutter. Add water to the “dirty” bin so the urine can dissolve. Clean the sieve with the shower head.
  3. The next morning, we put the plastic chicken wire on top of the sieve and together they go on top of the 3rd bin, the “fluids” bin. Then, bit by bit, pour the contents of the “dirty” bin onto the sieve. Now the grit itself stays on top and the fluids go into the bin. Rinse the grit VERY well with the shower head and transfer the clean grit to the “clean” bin.
  4. Flush the gutter with the garden hose. We can now gather any left over grit from the gutter and wash it like we did in the previous step, after which it also goes to the “clean” bin.

That’s it! This way, a full bin lasts more than 3 weeks rather than just a few days, so some refill is still necessary. However, we don’t dispose of anything we shouldn’t into our surroundings and use only naturally available grit. Some people have told me that they dry the grit. We find that this would take too long as well as adds another level of complexity to the system. Additionally, our intended audience, our beautiful cats, seem to appreciate our efforts. So far so good!

posted by Michel on Feb 20

Fans of British humour will recognise the title of this post as a reference to the famous hilarious BBC television series, of which I’m a great fan. Regular readers of this web site will know however that what we’re dealing with is no laughing matter. Still, I chose this title to express that our recent visit was entirely characterised by the high number of young animals that we took in (see the previous post).

So, what happened this time around? Apart from caring for the current residents, we sterilised 7 dogs, caught 1 adult female cat and her 5 kittens, took on 2 more kittens and cared for 5 puppies. This pictorial tells the story …

The kennels and catteries are almost finished and our friend Nicky Jenken came to help

The kennels and catteries are almost finished and our friend Nicky Jenken came to help

7 dogs and 1 cat were brought to Aklan State University for sterilisation and were returned to their happy owners, thos without owner stay with us

7 dogs and 1 cat were brought to Aklan State University for sterilisation and were returned to their happy owners, those without owner stay with us

3 puppies Tita, Jiji and Pablo need medical treatment, 5 kittens born at AARRC, 2 more kittens from the Blue Starfish Resort and Nicky manages to restore Oprah

3 puppies Tita, Jiji and Pablo need medical treatment, 5 kittens born at AARRC, 2 more kittens from the Blue Starfish Resort and Nicky manages to restore Oprah's faith in humanity

Puppy Jessica was adopted by the Letrodo family, Falco has almost been rehabilitated, Biselda on the road to recovery and Neressa taking good care of Giorgio

Puppy Jessica was adopted by the Letrodo family, Falco has almost been rehabilitated, Biselda on the road to recovery and Neressa taking good care of Giorgio