If you aspire to volunteer for this 17-year old organization, it’s important for you to know that CARA Welfare Philippines is not an animal shelter, it’s a clinic which temporarily houses animals with exceptional cases as they wait for adoption. CARA offers one of the lowest veterinary services in the country. You can check out their rates via this link.
CARA survives through the help of dedicated volunteers. I sent my application form via email 14th of October and got a reply on the 4th of November for the volunteer orientation. Since they don’t have a membership fee, you will be encouraged to bring 1 can of dog/cat food, 1 kilo of dry cat food and 1 bag of cat litter. Anything that can be donated (e.g. newspapers, old towels, office supplies, unused pet items) is gladly accepted. Don’t forget to bring a hard copy of your application form with your picture. This is to be submitted to the admin office for filing and database.
There were less than twenty of us attending the orientation. Senior Volunteer Ria Ilano, headed the program where she shared with us CARA’s projects and committees. Committees are varied to make sure every member will find one that will spark their interest. Since I’m selectively social (lels), I chose Events and Writing.
Aside from deciding which committee to join, we were also asked to choose between volunteering for Laguna Pit Bulls (LPB), or CARA. Ria assures us that we can volunteer for both, we just need to have a specific project to work on. The orientation lasted for about an hour. After that, we were divided into two groups for the clinic tour.
This is the quarantine area where newly rescued animals temporarily stay. Quarantining helps protect in-house animals from any contagious disease a rescued animal may have.
Their cattery houses at least 20 felines. Ria told us that if we wish to carry them, we should pick them up by their belly using both hands. Their cats are named after where they were found, and how they were rescued. One cat was named Basu, as she was found in the trash (basurahan).
This calico cat kept bumping her head on my hand whenever my attention wanders off to other felines.
We sat on the floor of the cattery and waited for them to approach us. In no less than five seconds, tabbies in different colors and sizes were all around us, asking to be petted. I noticed that cats in white and brown colors are the clingiest. Ria said that they’re ferals, or those who were born and brought up in the streets. Their difference with stray cats is that strays used to be pets who happened to be neglected by their owners.
Above is the canine area where about less than 10 canines stay. One dog was a tripod. His leg had to be amputated after being ran over by a speeding vehicle.
CARA offers pet boarding services. Cats scheduled for spaying and neutering also stay at the boarding room.
Overall, it was a fulfilling experience, knowing that soon, I’ll belong to a community whose advocacies I support and passionately believe in. Join us, be a volunteer, and witness how love can transform these rescues. They don’t need much to be happy, they just need your commitment and caring presence.
CARA organizes a volunteer orientation once a month. You can download their application form, and learn more about their organization through their website at http://www.caraphil.org. Always remember that it’s always better to adopt than shop!