According to the Philippines Animal Welfare Society, the country had 12 million stray cats and dogs in 2019. Domesticated animals that were once household pets are the most common type of stray in the Philippines. It occurs when their owners can no longer afford to feed them or do not choose to bear the burden of caring for them when they become ill. We walk straight past them every day. They dodge vehicles, rummage through trash, and fight hunger and illness in silence. The number of animals left at shelters is increasing by the day, and these difficult times demand immediate action. With this, COMCO Southeast Asia has pledged their support for CARA Welfare Philippines, a volunteer organization that advocates the promotion of responsible pet ownership in the country.
The story of this partnership began with the first-ever Camp COMCO Alumni Society Unity Games, where graduates of the Camp COMCO Mentorship Program came together to reunite in a friendly house competition (after the rigid House Wars during their time as apprentices) and get the chance to donate to their organization of choice. Throughout the series of different games and activities, members managed to win prizes and points for their respective houses. As the Unity Wars concluded, House Hawkbill came out on top as the Grand Champion, pledging and donating PHP 20,000 to CARA Welfare Philippines to support their cause.
CARA Welfare Philippines is a volunteer group that advocates the promotion of responsible pet ownership, spay-neutering of pets and stray animals, and pet adoption. The organization was founded in the year 2000 by a dedicated group of animal lovers who were determined to help the fate of animals in the Philippines. It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that relies entirely on private contributors and CARA focuses on one mission: to promote animal welfare in the country through educating, generating awareness, low-cost sterilization and veterinary care, as well as the rehabilitation and rehoming of needy cats and dogs. House Hawksbill, as current and former pet owners themselves, chose CARA Welfare Philippines because of their love for animals and their belief in responsible pet ownership.
“CARA Welfare Philippines is truly aligned with our love for our furry animals in need. We believe in responsible pet ownership and in what CARA stands for, both literally and figuratively – compassion and responsibility for animals,” shared AC Recio, House Steward of House Hawksbill and pioneer member of Camp COMCO Alumni Society.
COMCO Southeast Asia’s partnership with CARA Welfare Philippines then continued with the recently concluded House Wars for Camp COMCO Cycle 16. During the activity, the different houses of Camp COMCO competed and created communications plans for CARA Welfare Philippines to raise awareness on animal welfare. COMCO SEA and CARA’s partnership allowed for Camp COMCO apprentices to showcase their skills and put into practice their learnings from the Camp COMCO Mentorship Program, and at the same time learn about responsible pet ownership. While CARA gained insights on how to promote their advocacy to potential volunteers and supporters.
As House Wars concluded, the panel of judges, which included CARA’s office assistant, Armie Ugates, chose House Bearcat as the Grand Champion for their comprehensive plan for the organization.
“On behalf of CARA, I would like to thank COMCO Southeast Asia for choosing us as a beneficiary. Part of our programs is to partner with schools, organizations or companies so we can talk about responsible pet ownership and our advocacies, and with the recent Unity Games and Camp COMCO House Wars, we were able to spread the word on these issues to talented young minds. So thank you for thinking of us and donating to our cause. COMCO is very welcome to visit the cats and dogs in our care whenever they want,” shared Armie.
Improving animal welfare standards does not only improve the lives of the animals, but it can also educate us on the harsh realities that they face and call us into action, helping us become better people in the process. For more information on CARA’s initiatives to help our furry friends, please visit their website at caraphil.org or follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/CARAwelfareph.