She was on her way to the checkpoint to help as a health worker when she saw three kittens on a tree branch.
“I thought the old man near the tree put them there, “ she said.
But the old man said the kittens went up the tree when a dog ran after them. They could not go down anymore.
The kittens were abandoned on the vacant lot, the old man said.
Since she loves cats, she decided to get them and bring them home even if she was already late for duty at the checkpoint. She fed them and kept them secure inside the house.
Sylvia P. Ongsing, 54, a health worker of Barangay Lawa in Meycauayan, Bulacan, is from a family of animal rescuers.
She and her husband and kids started rescuing in 2005.
“My kids Axl Renz and Renz Ulrich were still in elementary school in Manila then. My husband Ferdinand would bring home kittens who were abandoned on the streets,” she recalled.
“My husband would see the kittens on his way home from work. He would pick them up and bring them home. He said they eat very little naman so we can afford to take care of them,” Sylvia said.
Before they knew it, they already had so many cats in the house.
But that did not stop them from rescuing a dog from the creek near Malacanang in Manila.
“She was so thin and was suffering from a severe case of mange. Grabe ang galis niya. Naawa kami kaya inuwi namin. We named her Chinchin,” Sylvia said.
At that time, they already had Grimz, an asong Pinoy (aspin) who was given to them by a neighbor.
Grimz saved them from fire by barking nonstop until they woke up.
“We are alive because of Grimz,” Sylvia said.
“Grimz was our bunso (youngest child) for 12 years,” Sylvia said.
Today, Sylvia is also a volunteer of Save Animals of Love and Light Inc. (Save ALL), a SEC-registered animal welfare group.
She helps in rescuing animals in need. She was Save ALL’s rescuer in Batangas when Taal volcano erupted. Pets were abandoned by owners who were forced to evacuate and stray dogs were in danger in areas where earthquakes shook the ground at least five times a day. She rescued with other animal lovers more than 50 dogs and cats then and fed hundreds of animals.
She also helps in organizing anti-rabies vaccination events in Bulacan, spay-neuter projects, and feeding stray dogs and cats in Metro Manila and Bulacan.
“This is my way of giving back to Save ALL. This is the group who saved my dog at a time we did not have funds to have her treated in the clinic. Yumi lived for several more years and was able spend more time with us because Save ALL did not hesitate to help us have Yumi treated,” Sylvia said.
“Because of this act of Save ALL, I promised that I will help dogs and cats in need as much as I can,“ Sylvia said.
Thus, while on duty at the checkpoint, Sylvia and her co-volunteers who happen to be animal lovers also, feed dogs who pass by.
One day, the dog they have been feeding and who they named Covid arrived with swollen balls.
“Someone tied his balls for fun. The balls were swollen. I decided to give him antibiotics, an immune system booster, and supplements for the liver and kidneys every day, “Sylvia said,
The meds were donated by Save ALL.
Today, Covid is a healed dog who is spoiled by volunteers and policemen at the checkpoint.
After asking around, they found out Covid’s owner lives in the depressed area near the checkpoint.
After discovering this, the volunteers decided to take turns feeding him.
The funny part is Covid now brings along friends who are not only dogs. He has goats for friends too!
Covid has become the “dog volunteer” at the checkpoint.
“Nauna pa sya sa akin sa umaga mag duty!” Sylvia said, laughing.
And just the other day, guess what? Covid followed Sylvia home.
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