Words and photos by Phyl Pangilinan
For the past few years, feral cats have found a safe haven in the Ateneo de Manila University. With the continuous growth of the feline population in the campus, members of the Ateneo community officially took them in and even volunteered to get them neutered. You may often see them accompanying students, faculty, or staff–if they’re not lazing around on random surfaces. Tip: You might want to wear pants; some of them love to settle on the warm laps of diligent students seated along the hallways.
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No one had expected for this family to become even bigger. K-9 units came into the picture when classes in the Ateneo got suspended due to the bomb threats back in February 2014 and March 2016. These hardworking dogs have since been guarding the halls of the academe.
This year, Communitails Philippines, in partnership with the Ateneo Guidance Office, have invited on campus two therapy dogs named Simba and Bubu, to help Ateneans in times of stress. The Ateneo community has acknowledged the positive effects from establishments such as cat and dog cafes, and later on decided to add animal-assisted therapy in its student care program.
Simba in the LS Guidance Office with his owner
Bubu out on a stroll with a Communitails admin
Here are more photos of Ateneo’s furry family:
These furry fellows aren’t just adorable. Their presence is essential to a lot of students’ emotional and mental health care. They are now, and will continue to be considered as family in the many years to come.
How has your own little furry family helped you emotionally? Share your story in the comments.