The faces of Manila’s rescued animals—and how to volunteer for CARA’s animal welfare campaign

Love animals? Would like to do something to help but don’t have an idea how to start? When in Manila, you can start making a difference by volunteering with CARA Welfare Philippines. CARA, a non profit organization, stands for Compassion and Responsibility for Animals. It has organized a volunteer program where anyone interested can help with rescues, adoption, fund-raising and a whole lot more.


CARA Welfare Philippines Dog & Cat Adoption

 What is that puppy saying to these good folks? Can you guess? CARA held an adoption event on May 25 at Greenbelt 5. The rescued dogs and cats became instant celebrities.

A week ago, I attended CARA’s orientation for volunteers. I wanted to know if I can do more than my own individual rescues. I’m glad I attended because I learned a lot! Apparently, there is a number of ways that a person can help. Most people believe that it’s all about shelling out money for donations. Yes, cash donation is very important to allow CARA to continue doing what it’s doing, but it also must rely on the help of dedicated animal lovers to volunteer their time.


CARA Welfare Philippines Dog & Cat Adoption

The look of a Lady. She was an abandoned daschund mix. Despite it all, she hasn’t given up hope to find her forever home.


Here are ways to help:

  1. ADOPT or FOSTER – Make rescued pets your first choice. Having a pet is a LIFETIME commitment.  For me, abandoning a pet is akin to abandoning a family member. People who dump their pets at the pound should realize they are sentencing them to death. Those who wish to adopt must fill in an application form that can be downloaded from the CARA website.There is an adoption fee of PHP800 for cats and PHP1,200 for dogs.
  2. SPONSOR A PET – Can’t adopt? You can still help. Your sponsorship will provide food, vaccinations, medical care, spaying/neutering and toys to your sponsored pet. It will also help the animal rescue organization to help more animals.
  3. DONATE – Just PHP500 will cover the cost of neutering a male cat; PHP700 for a female cat.
  4. VOLUNTEER – How valuable is your time? Cash donation runs out quickly. The cost of running the Laguna Pit Bulls Sanctuary alone is upward of PHP250,000 a month, CARA founder Nancy  Cu Unjieng reveals. With your continued support, just an hour or two perhaps of your time a week, you will already be giving something worth more than money.


CARA Welfare PhilippinesVolunteers

CARA was formed in 2000 by a dedicated group of animal lovers determined to help the plight of animals in the Philippines. It survives on donations and the efforts of volunteers. Well known for conducting rescues, CARA has the primary mission of promoting compassion for animals and responsible pet ownership. In the photo is the newest batch of volunteers.


What do volunteers do?



If CARA can respond to all pleas for assistance, it will—but it can’t. There aren’t enough volunteers, and not enough time and resources! Your help in this area will be very welcome. CARA needs people willing to accompany the dog rescue team, first to find out if the animal in distress really needs rescuing and then explain to bystanders what is going on to prevent misunderstanding. The adoption team will conduct home visits to make sure the pet goes to a good home.



Very few are aware that CARA is also very active in TNR. The over population of dogs and cats had greatly contributed to the number of strays. CARA seeks to manage this population by catching stray cats, neuter them, and return them to where they were caught. The CARA clinic also offers low-cost spaying and neuter for dogs. So far, only a handful of communities in Metro Manila support this program. Volunteers can assist by acting as spokesperson while the TNR Team catches strays.


CARA Welfare Philippines Dog and Cat Adoption

Meet Opie! He was rescued in Manila with a rubber band embedded on the skin around his testicles, which were already inflamed and infected. Despite this horrible abuse, Opie is the sweetest dog there is. The way he played with me earlier, I just know that my own Happy, Uno and Ayeka will be able to sniff out I’ve been playing with another dog! Opie is great with kids and loves to socialize with strangers. Hindi sya choosy, haha. Opie is 2-3 years old, neutered and vaccinated.



CARA has an animal care clinic in Singalong, Malate and partner vets with St. Gabriel Dog and Cat Clinic and Beterinaryo sa Fort Animal Clinic. Volunteers will help feed and wash the animals being treated, and clean cages.

Not just CARA needs help with this kind of thing, actually—volunteers for the Mandaluyong Animal Shelter had recently made an urgent call for a Food Donation Drive and Mass Feeding. Target date is June 8.



Most people are not aware of the laws protecting animals, how to report animal abuse, and how to take care of their pets. Volunteers can help develop presentation and educational materials or spearhead their own education drives in their baranggays, schools and offices.


CARA Welfare Philippines Dog & Cat Adoption

 Meet Wyto! He was rescued several months ago in Pasay, a victim of hit and run. Both of his hind legs were fractured. The unimaginable pain made it impossible for his rescuer to move him to a vet immediately. He had to have pins surgically placed to fix his injuries. He is now rehabilitated and ready for his forever home. Wyto is a handsome and gentle dog with a kind disposition. He is about 2-3 years old and has been vaccinated and neutered. When I sat beside him, he looked at me with such soulful eyes. Wyto just seemed so grateful that now he is surrounded by caring folks. I dread to think what life was to this gentle dog before he was rescued.



Volunteers with marketing, writing and graphic design skills would fit right in the media committee. Design and copy for posters and informational comics are badly needed. Blogging and getting CARA covered by the news would help a lot. CARA also needs people to respond to inquiries on Facebook and to come out with social media marketing programs to help spread the word about animal welfare.



CARA often organizes adoption and fund-raising events. Volunteers will man the booths, walk the dogs, take care of the cats, prepare props, carry heavy materials around, answer inquiries, document events, take pictures, and address any logistics issue. Once volunteers get the hang of it, CARA is hoping volunteers can also organize other events in cooperation with CARA.


CARA Welfare Philippines Dog & Cat Adoption

Meet Kinley! He was found as a puppy along McKinley Hill, so dehydrated and faint he did not struggle at all when he was picked up. Look at him now, loving a head massage! He’s so very sweet and looking for a mom or dad. The children at the adoption event loved him. Won’t you give him a second chance? 



CARA needs volunteers to maintain and update its website.



CARA runs a sanctuary for 165 pit bulls and mixed-breed dogs rescued from an illegal dog fighting syndicate operating in Laguna. Volunteers are needed to feed, bathe, walk, and socialize with the dogs to help them recover from the trauma of their dog-fighting days.

CARA Welfare Philippines Dog & Cat Adoption

Do you know that when dogs are abandoned at the Pound, they will be put to sleep in five days or less? Milo, a beautiful black male dog, escaped this fate when an angel came to the rescue. Milo was so thin when he was rescued. The vet found out he had heartworm and would need monthly medication. Milo is very lucky, and would love to be luckier by getting adopted. Would you be his next angel?


I volunteered for the media and events committees. I also indicated that I can do home visits to screen prospective adopters in Manila.

Last Saturday, I attended my very first adoption and fund-raising event by CARA. It was amazing to meet the rescued cats and dogs and interact with them. It’s difficult to imagine now the horrible conditions they were rescued from because the animals were so sweet and friendly. Tender loving care by CARA volunteers had transformed them from beaten and emaciated to beautiful and loving pets just waiting for someone to give them a new home.

Check out their photos. How can you resist them?


CARA Welfare Philippines Dog & Cat Adoption

Meet Muffins, a young sweet playful healthy female dog, rather small in built.  She will be an easy pet to care for and love.  Muffins would be dead now, euthanized by QC pound, if CARA had not gotten her immediately after she was picked up by QC pound. She is looking for a loving home!


Everyone can make a difference—I believe this. I have come to realize though that working with a team can lead to a greater and more lasting difference. When in Manila and feeling the call of compassion towards our animal companions, pay a visit to CARA. Get to know the volunteers and rescued pets. You might just be the person that can tip the balance towards a more humane world.


CARA Welfare Philippines Dog & Cat Adoption

CARA promotes the spaying and neutering of cats as a way to manage the population of unwanted starving cats on every street corner. According to CARA, neutered animals live, longer healthier lives. This kitten used to be one of the unwanted animals on the street. Now, it can have a chance of a loving home. Unlike its millions other brothers and sisters still living as strays.


Interested to donate, foster, adopt or volunteer? Please contact CARA through these channels:





LPB Project:


CARA Welfare Philippines No to Dog Meat

CARA supports the No to Dogmeat International Campaign. So do I! And so should you. The dog meat industry is rampant not just in China and South Korea but also in our own backyard. Just last month, a van full of dogs and on its way to Baguio was intercepted by the police in Laguna. Only 19 of the 68 dogs were still alive. All of the dogs had their snouts tied shut with wire. Even if they had survived the horrific hours-long journey, they would have ended up slaughtered by dog meat traders. Let’s be aware that slaughtering dogs and cats for food is against RA 8485 and anyone found to violate this law can be imprisoned for up to two years and fined PHP5,000. Such a lame penalty, if you ask me.


Want to find out more about the Laguna Pitbulls? Check out these articles!


Thanks to Photography X.D., Budz Lanuza-Lastica, and Bianca Ortigas for the photos!

The faces of Manila’s rescued animals—and how to volunteer for CARA’s animal welfare campaign