Countless stories of animal rescues usually start with how hard the animal had it, but was still lovely and pretty.
Homeless dogs, however, have skin infections and health problems that scare many of us away, so we don’t dare approach them. We prefer to leave them to their own fate.
Even as a young boy, Ken Amante couldn’t stand it when animals around him were mistreated, no matter what condition they were in.
At the age of nine, he never left his home in the Philippines without food in his backpack and disappeared with it for a few hours.
Feeding stray dogs
His parents didn’t know what their son was spending his time doing, and one day his father decided to follow him. He found out shortly after that his sweet son went to feed stray dogs. Some of these dogs were covered in mange and sores, but Ken didn’t mind, the dogs needed help.
Ken even used the pocket money he got from his parents to buy the food and help these helpless creatures.
His proud father took photos of his son and the dogs and shared them on Reddit saying:
“My son has been feeding these stray dogs in the neighbourhood for the past two weeks. Today I found out about it for the first time.
In one picture, Ken is feeding three dogs that are nothing but skin and bones. He named the two younger dogs Brownie and Whitey and the largest dog, he assumed was the mum, Blackie. All three had countless sores and almost no fur left due to mange.
Ken told HNGN: “Actually, I’ve always loved animals, it started at a very early age. I was just in love with them when I was little. My parents told me that before I could even walk, I was already cuddling together with my dad’s cat, his name is Hajime-kun. Hajime-kun is now 14 years old and still with us.”
The pictures quickly went viral and soon donations started arriving from people all over the world so Ken could feed even more animals. Despite his young age, Ken had a dream to build an animal shelter and with the support of his parents and the generous donations, this dream became a reality.
Ken founded The Happy Animals Club, the first shelter of its kind in the Davao region of the Philippines, on 31 March 2014.
“I came up with the Happy Animals Club when I thought about how there are more shelters here that kill animals at some point than there are real shelters,” he told Metro. “I want to save so many dogs that are killed for no reason.”
Over 100 animals rescued
He rented a property for a year and turned it into a home for rescued animals.
“We also give a lot of money for wood, electricity, tin for roofs, cement and many other things. This area often floods when it rains, so we had canals built,” Ken said on his organisation’s website.
“The shelter now has 2 large enclosures, 2 flats and an annex. The dogs are not kept in cages unless they are sick or there is a good reason.
The cats have a large area just for themselves. All the dogs and cats at Happy Animals Club are very happy animals,” he added.
The shelter has received and continues to receive support from so many people worldwide.
“Since 2014, we have rescued more than 100 starving and sick animals and have distributed countless meals among stray animals,” the website reads.
Ken also told that when he told his father about his big dream, his father said that it would probably take 20 years to get something like this off the ground and he would have to wait until he grew up. But this little boy proved that where there is a will, there is a way, no matter how old you are.
He is a true animal hero.