Even though they’re regarded as “man’s best friend,” it’s truly sad to know and see that there are still a lot of dogs who are left astray in the streets because of having no home to go to or the negligence of their owners. Thus, in the latest episode of Iba ‘Yan last April 25, the team featured the tireless efforts and admirable heroism of some individuals who unconditionally gave their love to homeless dogs by giving them shelter and a family who would take good care of them.
In 2019, around 12 million stray cats and dogs were recorded despite the RA 8485 or Animal Welfare Act of the Philippines, the law that aims to protect animals. That’s why, Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Executive Director Anna Cabrera encouraged pet owners to be responsible in order to avoid the influx of stray animals and iterated their battle cry “Walang asong gala, kung walang taong pabaya”.
Thankfully, there are still individuals who initiate in assuming the responsibility of taking care of abandoned dogs, such as Jervy Castillo, an animal rescuer who runs the Homeless Dog Shelter for seven years already. Just last year, 2020, Jervy learned about the situation of Roger, an aspin or “asong pinoy” that was a victim of animal violence.
The first time Jervy saw the horrible situation of Roger, she immediately brought him to the veterinary clinic and eventually decided to take good care of the dog until she could finally entrust him with someone responsible enough. She admitted that it’s indeed a challenge to rescue dogs because they are unfamiliar with their behaviors and they don’t know if they have rabies. But these didn’t hinder Jervy from continuing her advocacy of bestowing genuine love and care to stray dogs.
What pushes her to do this is the fact there are still countless stray animals who need help from people who have the means to help them and provide their needs. From often taking home stray kittens when she was 14, Jervy started to adopt a puppy named Windy from a rescue home center in Singapore in 2014 when she was still based there. They got attached with the stray dogs in the rescue home center, so they decided to adopt two more.
She then decided to go back to the Philippines to put up her own animal shelter and a small business to sustain the needs of the dogs, which caused a major misunderstanding between her and her ex-partner in the long run.
At present, they have more than 70 dogs and 28 cats. Her dream for the animals that she rescued is for them to have responsible paw parents, which finally came true for some of them, such as Pawi, an aspin who went viral online and was searched by the Megastar Sharon Cuneta after seeing it in one of her shootings. It is currently under the care of Jervy until it recuperates and is ready to be turned over to its new mom.
Jervy manages two animal shelters – in Subic and in Olongapo – and sadly related that one of her animal shelters already needs renovation. And since she uses her personal car in rescuing stray dogs,Iba ‘Yan pledged her cash assistance to have her car repaired and to have their animal shelter renovated. In cooperation with PAWS, Iba ‘Yan, also gave Jervy’s animal shelters animal food supplies and grooming and cleaning supplies. The team also promised to find a new fur parent for Roger.
Another dog that was taken care of by the Homeless Dog Shelter was Buntot, an eight-year-old stray dog who was separated from its fur parent who wasn’t capable enough to bring him to the veterinary clinic. That’s why Jervy initiated to take care of Buntot until it became fully healed. Lourdes Bais, its original owner, already considers Buntot as his youngest child. since it has been her companion ever since her son passed away due to a heart condition.
Lourdes was able to prove that her dog would always be there for her when she was attacked by three dogs and Buntot saved her. However, when Buntot’s condition worsened because of his illness, Lourdes didn’t have enough means to take him to the veterinary. One time, someone told Lourdes that Buntot could be brought to the Homeless Dog Shelter where it could be well taken care of. And true enough, Jervy provided the medical assistance he needed for he is now finally in good condition again and was brought back to Lourdes who was very happy seeing and being able to hug Buntot once again. She was given by Iba ‘Yan dog care package, plantita gardening package, and sari-sari store package.
Before the day ended, there was another person who was surprised by the Iba ‘Yan team, and that was none other than the show’s host, the real-life angel who has always given her help and service to the people, Angel Locsin. She was surprised by one of her good friends, actress Angelica Panganiban, who welcomed her in the little paw party prepared for her.
At the start, she watched video greetings from the cancer patients from the Cancer Warriors Foundation who Angel has always supported, as well as her scholars from Bukidnon. After that, she couldn’t help herself from getting emotional as she shared that ever since the denial of the franchise renewal of the network, the scholars she was able to help were lessened because she couldn’t be able to support all of them.
Angel also commended the whole staff of Iba ‘Yan for continuously working hard and for risking their health despite the very difficult situation. She shared that they have already encountered countless challenges, and yet, they still continue to be in service of the people. Angel tearfully said, “Nakahanap ako ng grupo na iba ‘yong malasakit sa mga tao talaga…na hindi lang ‘to basta trabaho, serbisyo talaga ‘to.”
The host added that while she couldn’t tell yet what the future holds for them, she hopes that the show continues so she could still be able to work with them. She also received heartfelt video greetings from her good friends and bosses from the network, including Dimples Romana, Sharon Cuneta, ABS-CBN TV Production Head Lauren Dyogi, ABS-CBN COO for Broadcast Cory Vidanes, ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak, and ABS-CBN Chairman Mark Lopez. Lastly, Angel’s beloved father Angelo Colmenares and her family also gave their warmest video message on her birthday. Of course, Iba ‘Yan director and fiancé Neil Arce also didn’t miss the opportunity to surprise her.
When asked for her birthday wish, the celebrator relayed, “Nasa punto ako ng buhay ko ngayon na mahirap paniwalaan [pero] napakakuntento ko. Kung ano mang mangyari sa future, alam kong kakayanin ko kasi surrounded ako ng mga taong nagmamahal sa’kin.”
Get your weekly dose of inspiring and touching stories by not missing an episode of Iba ‘Yan every Sunday on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z Channel 11.