posted by Michel on Feb 13

On February 8 and 9, a 3 person strong spay/neuter team from the Philippines Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) visited AARRC to perform a spay/neuter session. A few days prior to the event, AARRC volunteer Moien Legaspi and others announced door-to-door in Barangay Andagao, Kalibo that families could bring their dogs and cats for this free of charge event (it was paid for by our sponsors). Thanks to the PAWS team’s hard work, the results were: Male dogs 24, Female dogs 13, Male cats 6, Female cats 2. 45 animals spayed/neutered in total. Awesome!!!

The PAWS spay/neuter team



posted by Michel on Feb 5

These lovely dogs can be sponsored for as little as EUR 5 or US$ 5 per month. Just make an automated monthly payment stating the name of the dog of your choice. See the side bar on the right for instructions.


The AARRC dogs awaiting your sponsorship

Tina: Well, I’m Tina and I arrived here just a few weeks ago. I cannot walk at all because of my spinal injury, but the nice AARRC people have given me a wheelchair so now I RUN, RUN, RUN!!! I’m a really sweet-natured dog and I love the attention I get here. The only problem is now that I need to learn how to drive ;-)

Luningning: I came to AARRC last year and I’m a really playful character, very sweet-natured too and I just want to play with everyone. It wasn’t always like that because I lost my two sons last year and that made me very sad for a while. My friends here look after me though.
[Sponsor: Melanie van Leeuwen]

Urbanz: Well, when they asked me to tell a bit about myself I said I ehhh, well, ehhhh I’m bit shy you see. I’m a good guard dog but you do have to get to know me over a long time. When I’m on the beach with my friends, I forget my shyness and we all run like mad hahahaha!

Hatchi: I’m the sweetest little dog around here (sorry Snowy!) and I like walking and sleeping a lot. I like the beach and, wait for this, SWIMMING! Probably because the AARRC folks found me on the beach.
[Sponsor: Mrs. Neressa van der Kleij-Toabe]

Tita: I used to live just around the corner when I was little, but nobody was interested in me. I had eye infection and a little mange. Now that I’ve grown up into a real sweetheart that everybody loves, I feel very happy to be here with my friends. I just love the beach and play in the water.

Arwen: Hi there! I’m the queen around here! Yes, that’t right, I run things when the people aren’t looking hahaha. Seriously, I’m also a very sweet dog and there’s nothing I like better than to greet the humans when they arrive and show them I can dance and do “Gimme 5!”. Oh, and running is one of my specialities.
[Sponsor: Mr. Joep Thijssen]

Ino: If you would notice me (but not many dogs and people do) then you would find that I’m really sweet and adventurous in a way. But then, I got used to hiding in corners away from all those bullies. Fortunately, I have many friends here now and I feel a lot better.

Bella: I really miss my Mummy Stephanie, the nice girl that looked after me before. But because she had to move and because I am disabled just like Tina, she gave me to AARRC to be looked after. Guess what? Now I have a wheelchair too and I can play with my friend Bantay. Yihaaa!!!

Oprah: Hmmm I’m one of the shy ones too. I’m very sweet and good natured, but when I don’t know you I tend to hide away. Fortunately Nicky of AARRC has helped me a lot and now I’m already much and much happier. I love sunning myself in a quiet little corner.
[Sponsor: Ms. Nicky Jenken]

Falco: Hello folks! I’m Falco and I’m Chief of Security around here. That is because I can be really dominant. But hey, I’m the guard so what do you expect? Once I get to know you I’m sure we’ll get along fine. Just give me time. I enjoy walking on the beach and splashing around in the water.

Snowy: Ahh queen eh? (Sorry Arwen!) Well yes, but if I were bigger there would be no contest ;-) Seriously folks, I’m an expert rat hunter and an excellent guard dog. Nothing even comes close, literally! I love running on the beach and lazing around the humans. Given half a chance I’ll sleep in a bed, as queens do of course.
[Sponsor: Norah van Leeuwen]

Viper: Thanks for listening to me, I’m <<ahem>> a real gentleman of age. Together with my friend Oprah, we’ve been through some really tough times and to top it all off, I not only list an eye but also my fur. The nice people here at AARRC are doing what they can to restore me to my former glory, but it’s taking time. In the mean time, I just take it easy and enjoy my pension for a change!
[Sponsor: Mr. Joep Thijssen]

GM: When I was found I was scared and had no fur to shelter me from the rain or cold. I felt really miserable, but now after almost a year, my fur is slowly coming back and I feel a lot better. One day I will be beautiful again! I like to look after the puppies here and they are my real friends.

Soldier: After having lived with another family, I was assigned to be a guard dog with AARRC. I vow I will always do my duty by being a faithful dog and guard. Just don’t let me out of your sight though or I will hump your leg out of joy hahahaha.
[Sponsor: Fam. Saueressig]

Sophie: Not all that long ago I was a victim of the Dog Meat Trade … Together with hundreds of others I was transport in cages on a truck on our way to, well I don’t want to know, but I fear it would have been my final destination. Fortunately the kind people of Animal Kingdom Foundation rescued me and gave me to AARRC to have a happy life from now on. I love my new buddies!!!!

Jiji: Me, well, ehhhh, I’m a bit shy too. But when you see me on our beach, then you’ll know why they call me the “Pocket Rocket”. Because I’m the fastest runner here. I just love teasing my buddies Tita and Agua hahahaha.

Gracia: I’m still a bit shy but that is also because I don’t feel so beautiful at the moment. I have mange you see. Still, I’m being treated now and when I go to the beach or play with my friend Bantay, I totally forget my troubles and just play.

Bantay: Yeah, my friend Gracia needs cheering up, so that’s why I run around the yard like crazy trying to get some playtime. The young ones generally don’t mid, like auntie Luningning or my buddie Gracia. Other times I’m afraid I just have to adapt and sleep.

Biselda: When I was a little puppy, I had an accident on the road outside our house and I broke my hip. Therefore I can’t walk very well anymore, but I’m a very happy girl and I like being with my friends and go to the beach. Sometimes I even manage a bit of a run, just to show you guys I’m happy!!!

Prada: I’m the new kid here, so what can I say: getting to know the others but because of the quarantine, I’m not allowed to play with anyone yet. At first I was REALLY unhappy and kept everyone awake, but now that I’m getting to know the gang, they’re not so bad at all.
[Sponsor: Lauryn van Leeuwen]

Gaisano: Hi everyone. I’m a dog of very few words. I can’t see very well due to my age, but I’m a happy and quiet guy. I get along very well with all the others here.

Agua: Hey, don’t you think I’m a beauty? I won a beauty contest at the Kalibo town square last year for “Best Asong Pinoy (Philippine Dog) in Show” and I’m REALLY proud. I’m a sweet girl that loves to run on the beach and chase mice and rats too. My best buddy is Arwen.

posted by Michel on Jan 27

Last September, when I was on the way back from a VERY busy time with our shelter in Kalibo, I decided to call on my friends from the Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF), that specialise in intercepting the cruel and highly illegal dog meat trade transports. As much as I love this country, I’m afraid to admit that dogs are still being eaten here and there. Needless to say this gruesome habit is accompanied by totally unnecessary cruelty and suffering. Hence the reason for AKF to step in. So far they have around 600 dogs that were spared this fate on their grounds in Tarlac province. While I was there, I spoke with the very dedicated staff, such as Greg, veterinarian Roland and others. I also met two dogs whose image just wouldn’t leave my mind. So at the end of the day I decided to give two of them a new future: Sophie, the friendliest of them all who made friends with me the moment I arrived and Tina, a disabled dog who out of necessity was confined to a kennel by herself. Around the same time, Elly Maynard of Sirius Global Animal Organisation had been with AKF on a raid on one of those transports and she even brought a New Zealand film crew to document it all. Elly heard of Tina and the fact that we had already given away a wheelchair to Vincent, a dog rescued by our collegues of IRO in Cebu, and offered to pay for a similar wheelchair for Tina.

However, the story didn’t end there. Just a few weeks ago we were approached by a very young lady, Stephanie of 14 years old, who was worried sick about having to leave the Philippines next March and leaving her disabled puppy Bella behind. Obviously, disabled dogs need special care, since they drag their hind quarters and legs over the floor and often have little or no bladder and bowel control. Not every one’s cup of tea clearly. After almost a full day of SMS messages, Facebook chatting and even a Skype call, we decided that it was best for her to take Bella to AKF, since they were located relatively close and were coming to Manila to deliver Sophie and Tina anyway, so that it would be easy for them to bring Bella as well. It broke Stephanie’s heart to give up her beloved puppy, but she realised it was for the better. What a hero that young lady! We decided that such a young animal deserved a good chance, so those fine people of Wheelchairs for Dogs set to work to provide a wheelchair-to-size for Bella. Now we were going to bring two of those wheelchairs!

Tina, Sophie and Bella arrive in Manila

Soon we found ourselves back in Manila and just in time to secure a few transport kennels for the three dogs. The next day Greg and the AKF driver arrived with their precious cargo, all set to transfer them to the live cargo section of one of the local airlines. We were scheduled to travel the next day.

In Kalibo, our relatives had already picked up the dogs and a nice new kennel for Tina had already been prepared. That afternoon and evening we needed a rest, but the next morning we set about in earnest: assembled the wheelchairs and prepared Tina and Bella for their first rides! Tina took to it like a real pro and was soon running around, occasionally getting stuck behind furniture. We took her outside however and she loved that, sniffing out her new neighbourhood. Bella, being a lot younger, needed more time to get used to this strange device attached to her behind. At first she just stood there, but encouragement in the shape of treats soon changed that and she began to walk, gently. Sophie in the mean time already made friends with a few puppies and a rescue from last September: the incredibly loving Luningning that had herself lost her partially paralysed son to some viral infection.

Just look at those happy faces!


Tina taking her first steps outside

Bella gently getting to grips with modern machinery

Sophie enjoying a cuddle (Spot in the foreground)


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