Not only people are affected by the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi. As residents evacuated the area, some pets were sadly left in the crossfire.
Abandoned dogs, cats, and doves were seen roaming the streets of Marawi searching for food and shelter.
Driven by their survival instincts, many dogs were seen carrying bones, not minding whether they came from a human body; other starving canines were seen passing around a stray cat to eat until concerned media respondents shooed them away—the cat eventually died due to severe wounds.
Animal rescue groups were alarmed by this dire situation, and took action almost instantly. One of these animal rescue groups is the Save Animals of Love and Light or Save ALL.
Save ALL admins gathered and came up with “Marawi Animal Mission Operation,” a project to collect dog and cat food donations that they can send to Marawi.
Through the combined efforts of admins and volunteers, the group was able to repack and send 80 kilos of dog food and 12.5 kilos of cat food—the first time pet food donations were sent to the war-torn city. Financial donations from Kaye Advincula, PBS, and MC Chacha covered half of food cost, while some of those shipped were borrowed from Save ALL shelters.
Group admins Ruby Bautista and Niko Gabriel Salgado, with caretakers Robin and Jimmy repacked and sorted out the food. A group of scholars from the Australian Global Alumni Philippines also helped the team.
On June 30, Dr. Dahlia M. Valera of the Iligan City Veterinarian Office took in the donations and made arrangements with the military command center in Marawi. According to Save ALL’s Desiree Carlos, Divina Suson of Sunstar Balita brought the donation to Marawi and turned them over to the Philippine military.
Soldiers on ground have started leaving pet food in corners where abandoned animals are hiding and in areas where they can easily see the food.
Following the successful first shipment, the Save ALL team will once again send 100 kilos of dog food and 27 kilos of cat food with the assistance of the office of Senator Nancy Binay who agreed to include pet food donations in relief goods that will be sent to Marawi.
Other donors who helped financed this project were Angela Thakur, Sheila Salao, JNS, Izzy Tish, Althea Prudente, Niwre Rossi Schumacher, Cholo, Liz Miguel, Keng Gatchalian, and Mimi Escueta.
“Many thanks to Doc Valera, Anna Felicia S. Alagar of the Australian Alumni Global Network, and admins Ruby Bautista, Niko Gabriel Salgado, Sheila Sawit, Toni Mariz Munar, Anna Mozelle Liberato, and Maricel Mondejar of Save ALL for working on this project,” Carlos said in her post on Save ALL’s Facebook page.
Go to Save ALL: The Public Forum to find out how you can help.
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