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You’re never too old to make a difference.
Meet Ken, a 9-year-old boy from the Philippines. In February of this year, Ken’s father wondered why Ken would take a walk every day while carrying his backpack. Curious, Ken’s father followed him one day, and discovered that his son had been filling his backpack with food and feeding the stray dogs he encountered as part of his daily routine. Ken’s act of charity had been going on for about two weeks.
Ken’s father went along with Ken one day to take some photos of Ken and his three new canine friends. He posted the pictures online and they quickly went viral.
“My son says that at first, the dogs would only eat the food he left for them when he was 50 feet away,” wrote Ken’s father. “Gradually, they got used to him. But even now, only the white puppy will come within petting distance.
Shortly after discovering the puppies, Ken and his father set up the non-profit Happy Animals Club (www.happyanimalsclub.org) to care for the street dogs, which they named Blackie, Brownie and White Puppy. People from around the world began donating money to the cause.
“Some very kind people who saw these pictures donated money to help me care for the dogs,” Ken wrote on the Happy Animals Club website. “We got enough money to get the dogs I was feeding off the street, feed them high-quality canned food, and provide them with veterinary care. They gained a LOT of weight, their open wounds healed, and their fur grew back. They also learned not to be scared of humans.”
The donations were also enough to help Ken and his father build a temporary shelter for Blackie, Brownie and White Puppy. They leased a 10,000 square-foot lot, and hope to start the Happy Animals Club shelter soon.
“The next step will be to raise enough money to care for as many dogs as possible,” Ken writes on his website. “Also, we need to make a system for finding the dogs good homes when they are ready. This is a big challenge because in the Philippines, most people want purebred dogs. They don’t like mutts, even though mutts are just as smart, just as loyal, and just as loving.”
Most recently, Ken purchased two bamboo huts using money generated from the website.
“I bought two little bamboo huts, called bahay kubo, as shelter for the dogs when it rains,” he writes. “Everyone expected me to put the dogs in cages, but the dogs won’t be happy if they are locked up in cages. The roof is made from native grasses. There is enough room for many dogs in each hut. I can’t wait to see dogs in the huts. I know they will be very happy.”
Happy Animals Club’s main goal will be to rescue dogs from the city pound. “I want to save as many of those dogs as I can from being killed for no reason,” Ken writes.
You can help by donating funds to the Happy Animals Club, which will go toward dog food, medical care and the establishment of the shelter. www.happyanimalsclub.org
Nicole Sipe writes from her home in Indiana, where she and her husband raise their two young sons.
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