Frequently Asked Questions
What is CARA Welfare Philippines?
CARA stands for Compassion and Responsibility for Animals. It was founded in 2000 by a group of animal welfare advocates with the mission of promoting responsible pet ownership, spay-neuter of pets and stray animals, and pet adoption.
We operate a low-cost vet clinic in Mandaluyong to help cover some of the cost of running an organization that is completely run by volunteers.
We are not a government agency. Our volunteers do not get paid for their efforts. We do what we do because we care for animals.
What does CARA do?
- We operate a low-cost vet clinic in Mandaluyong.
- We manage a sanctuary for rescued pit bulls, rehabilitating and preparing them for adoption into loving homes.
- We educate the public about pet adoption, responsible pet ownership, and spaying or neutering your pets through events, talks in schools and institutions, social media, and this website.
- We work with communities to conduct trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs that will help control the street animal population.
- We work with local government units and other organizations to drive policies and address issues related to animal welfare.
Why help animals?
There’s often a silent “and not humans” attached to this question. It’s a misconception, however. Helping animals and helping humans are not mutually exclusive. Caring for animals actually makes us better human beings. The desire to help humans and animals, the desire to protect the environment, and the desire to fight for a host of other causes all came from the same place–compassion.
When we fight animal abuse, we help protect humans who may eventually suffer from the hands of these animal abusers. Animal welfare advocates are helping create a society that is civilized and compassionate.
We encourage you to figure out where your heart lies and then choose to support that cause. If we each do our part, we will succeed in making a difference in the world.
Read more about this issue here.
How can I donate?
Thank you! Your donation will help us continue our mission to fight for animal rights. You may donate via Paypal, bank deposit, an online fundraising site, and in-kind.
Click here for all the donation details.
May I sponsor an animal?
Yes, please! We know the feeling – you want to take them all home but most of us who love animals already have pets. But you can still help! Sponsor a pet to support its food, vaccinations, medical care, spaying/neutering, and toys. Your support will allow us to help more animals in need.
Find out more with this link.
Can we invite CARA to talk at our school or event?
Yes! Are you a school, business, or local government official and you would like to promote responsible pet ownership and animal welfare in your organization or area, maybe as part of your corporate social responsibility or advocacy programs?
Do invite CARA as we have volunteer speakers that you can tap for your activities!
How can we invite you to talk at our event?
Send us an invitation with event details through email@example.com. We will check the availability of the CARA speakers, ambassaDOGS, and diploCATS. If they are available on the event dates, we shall immediately let you know.
Is there a speaker fee?
There is no speaker fee–our speakers are all volunteers–but we do encourage you to donate to CARA. There are several ways to donate:
- Donation of one or more of the following: canned dog food and/or cat food, dry dog food and cat food, cat litter, other pet stuff (but not shampoo/soap as CARA already has enough of this).
- “Pass the hat” among attendees, students, teachers.
- Outright monetary donation. A school may write a letter to the parents to encourage them to donate.
The donated items are then collected over a period of time, say two weeks prior to the visit. If more donations come in after the visit, then a CARA representative can pick them up later.
Donations will help fund the medical and food expenses of the needy pets under our care.
What can you talk about?
Our teaching programs center on the following:
- Showing compassion for living creatures
- Responsible pet ownership, which includes spaying/neutering pets
- Pet adoption
- That there is a law, the Animal Welfare Act of 1990 or RA 8485 strengthened by RA 10631, protecting animals from harm
- Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR)
- Laguna Pit Bulls Project
- Proper Pet Care
- Proactive Animal Welfare Advocacy
- Pets and Kids
- Pets and Emergencies
Who are the AmbassaDOGS and DiploCATS?
They are the doggies and kitties of our volunteer speakers. Most were rescued, adopted, and are now happy members of the CARA family. They often represent CARA in events and school visits. Of course, they are always accompanied by their human parents.
Check out some of them here.
Why should I adopt rather than shop?
When you adopt a pet, you are saving a life. You become part of the solution and not part of the problem.
When you buy a pet, you not only deny a homeless pet a home, you are supporting an industry that thrives on shortchanging the welfare of animals. Puppy and kitten mills (which sell to pet stores) are in business to make a profit, so they churn out puppies and kittens as fast as they can. These animals are often in ill health and have problems like poor socialization skills due to lack of human companionship and genetic defects due to inbreeding.
You get as much love (if not more) from an adopted pet. You only have to read our adoption stories to see how lovely and loving our adopted furbabies are.
An adopted pet is every bit as friendly , intelligent and loyal as a purchased pet, even if you get an adult or older animal.
Do you need five more reasons to adopt rather than shop? Click here.
How do I adopt a pet from CARA?
Thank you for opening your heart to a rescued animal! To ensure that our beloved rescues go to a safe and loving home, however, we need to follow this adoption process.
First, choose a pet. Meet your chosen furbaby. Complete the adoption form. Schedule a home visit of a volunteer to your home. Pay the adoption fee (P800 cat; P1,200 dog; P3,500 Laguna Pit Bull). Bring home your new family member.
Click here for all the details.
Why is there an adoption fee?
The adoption fee covers the vaccination cost, which is actually just a fraction of the cost we have spent to nurse our rescued pet to health. When you adopt a pet from CARA, you are bringing home an animal that is already vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and socialized.
Consider the adoption fee a donation helping us continue our animal welfare advocacy and a sign of your lifetime commitment to your new family member.
I can’t adopt but I can foster. Is that ok?
Definitely! Because CARA does not run an animal shelter, rescued animals need to be placed in a good home with fosters that are interested in investing energy and time and, possibly, financial resources in rehabilitating the animal and preparing it for its forever home.
Learn more about fostering with this link.
Do you accept volunteers?
Yes, we do! CARA would not have survived this long if not for the efforts of volunteers.
What are the volunteer opportunities?
We need volunteers to help us boost our adoption, TNR, and education programs. Opportunities include making home visits, walking our rescues, blogging, creating graphics designs, and organizing events.
We’re big on educating the public, especially the next generation, about responsible pet ownership so we also need volunteers who can be trained to represent CARA in schools and events.
Learn more about CARA’s volunteer opportunities through this link.
How can we volunteer?
To volunteer, you must meet our volunteer requirements, fill out our volunteer form, attend an orientation, and spend time with the animals in our care. Start your volunteer’s journey by clicking here.
What are CARA’s clinic services?
Our clinic offers low-cost vet services including vaccination, spay-neuter, and blood tests. We also have pet boarding.
Click here for the clinic rates.
I’m going on vacation. I need somewhere to place my pets. Can CARA help?
Yes. We offer affordable cat and dog boarding. Click here for the rates.
What is TNR?
TNR is the only method proven to be humane and effective at controlling the stray cat population. Stray cats are trapped, neutered, and then returned to their territory.
Why is TNR effective, humane, and responsible?
With TNR, the breeding stops and stray cat populations are greatly reduced. Nuisance behaviors associated with mating and breeding, such as calling and fighting, are virtually eliminated.
TNR recognizes that there is a balance in our urban society, one that includes stray cats. We would be overrun with rats and cockroaches if it weren’t for the cats. TNR is a movement that will hopefully continue to grow as more and more people see that it works.
What’s wrong with the usual trap and kill or dump method?
It doesn’t work. It is simply ineffective, expensive and cruel. If all the cats are not caught, then the ones left behind over breed until the former population level is reached.
Even if all the cats are removed, new un-neutered cats move in to take advantage of whatever food source is available. Once there, they breed prolifically, quickly populating a new colony.
This “vacuum effect” is very well-documented. The trap/kill effort becomes increasingly unproductive in the effort to reduce numbers.
There are so many stray cats in my neighborhood. How can CARA help?
We offer trap-neuter-return (TNR) service within Metro Manila, where we humanely trap stray cats, spay or neuter them at our clinic, and return them to where they were caught.
Our spay/neuter fee is P650 for males & P850 for females.
You may bring the cats to our Mandaluyong clinic. If you are sponsoring 10 or more cats, we can send the CARA van and two catchers to your community.
Please communicate with your community officials about any TNR plan. Call us so we may guide you. You may also read more about TNR here.
LAGUNA PIT BULL SANCTUARY
What is the story of the Laguna Pit Bulls?
In 2012, the biggest raid of the country’s biggest known dogfighting operations took place in Laguna. We found over 260 pit bulls and mixed-breed dogs in horrible conditions. They were malnourished, heavily scarred, and living in steel drums. But beneath the physical scars ran deeper ailments, most notably vast deficiencies in their immune systems.
With the success of shutting down of such a horrible enterprise, there came to light another challenge: these dogs needed care and a home, and they needed them fast. CARA eventually took the lead in the care and rehabilitation of these poor dogs.
Can we visit the Laguna Pit Bulls?
Yes, we welcome visitors and volunteers who will help us take care of our beloved dogs.
At present, there are still over 70 pit bulls at the sanctuary. Most are ready for adoption. We welcome volunteers and visitors to interact with them by walking and bathing them.
Our sanctuary is located 3 hours away from Manila, in a lush forested area. Individuals, families, and corporations will find our sanctuary ideal for bonding and team-building activities.
To visit the Laguna Pit Bull Sanctuary, fill out this form and then we will get back to you immediately to arrange a visit.
Do we need to pay to visit the Laguna Pit Bulls Sanctuary?
At present, no. But we require that visitors would at least help with the sanctuary’s needs through one of the following:
- bringing at least two sacks of OPTIMA BEEF MEAL MAINTENANCE (29 kilos per sack, green and white sack, low protein)
- donating PHP 250 per person as their participation to the 250 for a Pittie campaign.
How can I donate to the 250 for a Pittie Campaign?
Thank you so much! Please deposit to BPI #3121-1984-86. Kindly send the proof of deposit to (screenshot or scanned) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP
How can I become a responsible pet owner?
First, love your pets like family. Having a pet is a lifetime commitment. Make sure your pets are well fed, groomed, and happy. Secure your pets inside your property but do not keep them locked up in a small cage. Walk your dogs regularly and make sure your dogs are leashed properly and your cats crated properly when outside your home. Have your dogs and cats vaccinated regularly and make sure they receive vet care when they need it. Please also spay or neuter your pet.
Why should I spay/neuter my pet?
It’s healthy for your pet, for you, and for the community. It helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives as it helps prevent a number of serious diseases like pyometra, ovarian/uterine cancer, and testicular cancer. They will be less likely to roam as they will no longer need to search for mates.
Irresponsible breeding contributes significantly to the number of stray dogs and cats. By spaying/neutering your pet, you become part of the solution and not the problem.
Read more about the benefits of spaying/neutering your pets here.
ANIMAL WELFARE ACT
Is there a law protecting animals in the Philippines?
Yes, the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, amended by Republic Act No. 10631 in 2012, protects animals, including household pets such as dogs and cats, from cruelty and neglect in the Philippines.
Who can be charged under the Animal Welfare Act?
Anyone who commits the following is violating the law:
- subjects any animal to cruelty, maltreatment, and neglect
- tortures an animal
- neglects to provide adequate sustenance or shelter,
- abandons a pet
- subjects an animal to fights
- conducts unauthorized animal testing
- kills or engages in the slaughter for food of dogs and cats
- sells and breeds pets without the approval of the Bureau of Animal Industry
What are the penalties for violating the Animal Welfare Act?
The law has teeth. Anyone who is charged with violating the Animal Welfare Act will face imprisonment and a fine—from six months and P30,000 to two years and P250,000.
Who is enforcing this law?
The Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies have the authority to arrest violators. If you witness the killing of pets and animal cruelty, please report it to the cops.
What can I do when I witness animal cruelty?
We encourage you to take action but not to act alone. Report the case of animal cruelty to your barangay and the police. Make sure you have complete documentation and details of the offense.
Many complain but very few actually do their part. Animal welfare in the country can only prosper if we all do our part.
Where can I read the complete animal welfare act?
Does CARA rescue? How do we request a pet rescue assistance?
We focus on operating a low-cost vet clinic, taking care of the animals in our custody, promoting spay-neuter of pets as well as responsible pet ownership to the public. We rescue only on a case-to-case basis, which depends on the availability of our volunteers, funds, and your own cooperation.
We may be able to assist you in the rescue if you or anyone you know are able to foster the animal after the rescue and if you will help in fund-raising.
If you have a rescue request, read this as well.
Do you rescue all distressed animals reported to you?
No. we can not–not because we don’t want to but simply because we cannot rescue ALL the dozens of cases reported to us weekly. It is impossible.
We believe in responsible rescues, which means we only rescue if we are able to care for the animal from start to finish and only as frequently as we can manage. We need to consider the animals already in our custody as well as our volunteers and supporters. How can we continue the mission if we have exhausted ourselves? The life and death of the animals in our care depend on our energy to go on.
At present, we are already taking care of over 100 cats, 20 street dogs, and 70 Laguna pit bulls. We are frequently desperate for funds and volunteers to foster our rescues. Please help us by donating, fostering, and adopting.
Can we surrender pets to CARA?
No! CARA is not an animal shelter. Please be responsible enough to find a new loving home for your pets if you absolutely can no longer care for them. Having pets is supposed to be a lifelong commitment. Pets are family.
Will you abandon your parents or children?
No, right? You will find a way to care for them. At least we hope that this will be your answer. Also, you should know that abandoning pets is considered animal cruelty in violation of Republic Act No. 10631 or the Amended Animal Welfare Act. If you abandon your pets, you are committing a crime.
Do you get threats, insults, and intimidation?
Sadly, yes we do. They do not help us nor do they help the cause of animal welfare. We animal right protectors must support one another. Sometimes, we wonder if these detractors would be happy if we end our advocacy? Will they be willing to take over? We invite whoever has questions to attend our monthly volunteer orientation. Check our Facebook Page for the schedule.
We ourselves will rescue a distressed animal. What should we do?
Each case is unique. We suggest that you first ask yourself if you are able to commit to the responsibilities of rescuing, from coordinating the rescue to finding a foster. If yes, then, coordinate the rescue by calling out for help in the transport and vet care of the distressed animal. You may seek the assistance of people in the area, such as the vendors, traffic cops, or barangay officials. You may also call out to your friends and animal welfare groups on social media.
STRAY ANIMAL POPULATION
Does the city have a right to impound stray dogs?
Under the Anti Rabies Act, the City Vet or Pound is responsible for humanely collecting stray dogs on the streets. If the dogs are not claimed or adopted after a certain period, which could be three days to a week, they are euthanized.
Why are the dogs euthanized?
The city pound has space and budget for only a limited number of dogs. No one likes this–but unless more people will choose to adopt rather than shop, homeless dogs will continue having the same sad fate.
What can I do to protect my dogs?
Have your dogs regularly vaccinated against Rabies. Keep them well fed and groomed. Provide them a clean and loving home.
Do not let them roam the streets but neither should you keep them locked up in small cages. Find a way to secure your house so that they have mobility but will not be able to escape into the streets.
Keep your dogs on a leash when you walk them.
I heard that dogs are treated badly at the city pound? What can I do?
If you witness cruelty and neglect at the city pound, then you need to report it to the cops. The problem will not be corrected if witnesses refuse to take action.