It was a search like no other.
Animal Kingdom Foundation launched an online event for pet owners to find the ultimate pets, cats or dogs within the second week of September, and picked three winners last October 4, World Animal Day.
This online contest has a twist: Only entries of pets that have been adopted by their hoomans are accepted.
With more than 23 thousand online viewers of its promotional page, the page was flooded with entries and 38 heartwarming stories stood out.
The judges picked 17 finalists from the 38 wonderful adoption stories and three winners was announced last October 4. The contest was tilted “The Search for the Ulti-Mutt Adopted Pet of the Year”
Eight special winners were also chosen. They can avail of a photoshoot, art portrait and 1, 000 pesos worth of pet products.
The Ulti-Mutt Adopted Pet of 2020 was awarded to Aura and Onyok, adopted pets of Micahella Bacud of Pampanga, the respective awards were given to Argus, adopted pet of jeng Mamiit of Cavite and Fil, adopted pet of Charmaine Lui Pio of Bulacan.
This online contest took AKF by surprise as the various heartwarming stories of adopted pets were just too good to be true. We never expected we would read how furparents sacrificed so much to save their adopted pets and, in return, how significantly their lives were impacted by these special cats and dogs.
Our objective was met way beyond our expectations.
AKF has always campaigned for potential adopters to not shop for pets but, instead, adopt them from shelters or dog pounds.
Here are the amazingly inspiring stories of The Ulti-Mutt Adopted Pets of 2020:
Aura and Onyok
Adopter: Michaella and Emelyn Bacud of Pampanga
Most people would be holding flowers and chocolates on Valentines' Day. But, surprisingly, my father went home with a box of Zesto tied in front of his bike.
I expected him to bring me freshly picked flowers from the garden of whoever-it-is (we can't afford to buy bouquets) until a Zesto box greeted me along with puppy cries. They were day-old puppies and their eyes were still closed, kinda like a newborn rat! I felt excited, surprised, confused, and happy all at the same time.
My heart broke. I might not be a passionate pet-lover but these puppies still have a life like us humans.
Raising 2 puppies wasn't easy. Money wasn’t available during that time or in short — kapos. But we can't let the pups drink the instant noodle soup that we can only afford. My dad counted all our coins and ran to the nearest store. He went home with a pouch of milk and a baby bottle. Infant milk was now included on our list of debts in the sari-sari store. They were with us as we struggled financially.
Now I understand why those people with pets fought for the importance of their lives.
Having a dog is more than just being assured that someone will bark whenever there's an intruder, it’s like having a warmth that you don’t deserve. Those eyes and sticking tongues are the reminder that you are someone’s world, that you are someone’s everything, and that you are someone’s home.
Adopter: Jeng Paradero-Mamiit of Cavite
Argus was a blind, mangy, and tick-infested dog when CARA Welfare Philippines rescued him mid-2015.
We were very nervous when we got him because it was the first time that we adopted a special needs dog. We were told that his blindness was irreversible and that he would need special attention from us.
After a few months living with us, we discovered that he had erlichia and while we were focused on treating this condition, he started regaining his eyesight. It turned out that his blindness was from erlichia and him having poor nutrition when he was still a stray.
But this little dog didn’t stop defying odds! Upon regaining his eyesight, he started showing the world what he could do. He joined the PAWS Doctor Dog program where he served as a therapy and a literacy assistance dog- calming and bringing joy to hospital patients, while also teaching young children to foster their love for reading.
Argus is one of the best examples that a former stray can be all that and more given the chance to start anew.
Adopter: Charmaine Vistan of Bulacan
The very first time I saw him, I had to stop the car because I couldn't believe my eyes. He was like a dead dog walking! He was pure skin and bones and his bloody skin looked like it was peeled off of his body. He also had a string tied around his neck.
I lost sight of him and was so bothered that I spent days looking for him. On the third day, I finally found him.
I took him to a vet in QC and with the help of kind people who donated for his care, he was able to go home after almost a month. I visited him regularly. The changes he went through and the progress he made was so visible! He is an incredible fighter who loves life.
It sometimes breaks my heart when I sit and think about Fil's past. He lasted so long out in the streets probably having to fight for every scrap, every incomplete meal, and every sip of water.
Fil was my very first rescue. He paved the way for all my other rescues by opening my heart to the plight of dogs in the Philippines. He is the reason I started personally rescuing, adopting, and fostering dogs. Now, I run my own "mini" sanctuary with 29 dogs and 12 cats.
I love this boy with all of my heart and I hope that when people read his story and see his transformation, they too can be convinced to make a difference in a needy animal's life. It will not just change their rescue's life; it will also change theirs, just like Fil changed mine.
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Thank you for all your amazing adoption stories!
The objective of this contest is to raise awareness on adoption and those of you who may have been touched by these adopted dog stories will hopefully find the courage and inspiration to rescue or adopt hapless animals. No doubt, their lives will become better and, more importantly, they will change yours in the most wonderful way.