At Lara’s Ark, no animal goes unloved – Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Susan Lara has been rescuing animals for as long as she can remember.
She started with house pets – dogs, cats, birds – those that were neglected by people she knew, as many animals as she could care for with her teenager’s allowance.
Later on, along with her daughter Tammy Yao, Susan would save creatures – limping dogs, malnourished cats – from the street and bring them home. Sometimes, they’d even take in pets given up by families who can no longer care for them. These pets quickly became part of Susan’s family.
“Animals in need always seem to find me. Lame birds land on my balcony. When I dive, sharks come next to me to show the hook in their body. Dogs who are supposedly aggressive come up to me to show me their own wounds, ” she told Rappler.
From Taal plus beyond
When Taal volcano erupted in early 2020, it was Susan’s turn to make her way to animals in need. The eruption left hundreds of thousands injured and homeless – including animals.
“We impromptu rescued over 200 different animals over a span of three months, ” Tammy shared.
Piling into cars and driving in a convoy, Susan, Tammy, and their friends headed to Taal with no set plan. The particular only thing they knew was that they would be saving creatures.
“We had never taken within this numerous rescues before, and we obviously could not keep all two hundred dogs. So for the first time, we decided to open up our rescue operations and adoptions to the particular public, ” she said.
Just like that, their pet shelter came to be. They called it Lara’s Ark.
“‘Lara’ is not only the mom’s last name, but also stands for the ‘liberation associated with abandoned plus rescued pets, ‘” Tammy explained.
Lara’s Ark currently has two shelters, one in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, and another in Nasugbu, Batangas. They’re currently caring for around 100 dogs. Some are up for adoption, while others are still in rehabilitation. A few have become permanent members associated with their pack – mostly senior rescues who are usually often bypassed by adopters for younger puppies.
“[Senior dogs] are often overlooked by adopters, and all of us want to ensure they get all the treatment and treatment they need in their golden years, ” shared Kai Yulo, who manages the particular group’s social media channels.
And it’s not really just canines too – they also get in rescue cats, pigs, horses, and cows.
With so many animals to attend to – most of them still recovering from trauma – one can imagine that life at Lara’s Ark gets pretty hectic. From being neglected plus abandoned, their particular rescues become first priority.
“A typical day revolves around the animals’ schedules: feeding, grooming, exercising, socializing, ” Kai shared. For their team, saving a dog from a bad situation will be just the start. “And it’s probably the easiest part! ”
“Rescuing requires therefore much more effort behind the scenes. It’s about healing – psychologically, physically, mentally, emotionally, ” the girl said.
A hundred dogs are the lot by any measure, but there are nevertheless more dogs that Lara’s Ark has had to say no in order to – not because these people don’t want to save them, but because they will want to be responsible about rescuing.
“We can only conserve as several dogs because our facilities can take without compromising the particular health and well-being of our pack, ” Kai stated.
She highlighted the importance of adopting and how it affects more than just the life of the pet finding a new home: “Dogs come into the shelter much, much faster compared to they leave us. And this is why adopting doesn’t only save 1 dog’s existence, but it makes room with regard to us to save another! ”
The underrated aspin
In the Philippines, animal adoption isn’t the norm. If a person wants to obtain a canine, they’d probably buy a pure-bred pup off the friend, or go online and find a backyard breeder. So few people would think of getting an aspin ( asong pinoy ), much less a rescued aspin.
Even with celebrities like Heart Evangelista or Sharon Cuneta lending their star power to the particular cause associated with aspin adoption, native-bred canines have yet to eclipse the popularity of corgis, frenchies, or shih tzus.
“There is usually still a very shame-driven narrative when it comes to helping aspins. A lot of save groups post gruesome plus graphic photos of the dogs, ” Kai mentioned.
“Although they reflect the reality associated with what we do, there’s furthermore another reality to recovery: the joy, hope, and resilience of animals, since well as the compassion and dedication of the particular people who saved them, ” she said. “We don’t want individuals to adopt out associated with guilt, yet instead inspire them in order to adopt because of how much love plus happiness aspins can bring them. ”
For the team in Lara’s Ark, aspins are an underrated breed.
“Aspins aren’t just street smart, but clever all close to. They know how to navigate the world and understand people on the very deep level, ” Kai stated. Apart from that, they’re hardy plus well-adjusted in order to the local climate, making them less prone to the health issues that plague imported dogs.
Within the same intuitive way that canines can sniff out kindness in humans, Kai mentioned that preserved aspins are usually “full of love and gratitude. ”
“Rescues know that you’ve stored them, plus they’ll happily spend the rest of their lives saying thank you, ” the lady said.
The girl added that will aspins also come along with quite the particular history – they may be among the “village dogs” that were descended through the earliest dogs that accompanied people 15, 000 years ago.
How love heals
As much as they need adopters though, the Lara’s Ark team wants people to know what they are getting into prior to bringing a dog house. After all, taking care of the dog may be fun, however it isn’t always easy.
“Do your research and understand the commitment! Dogs may live upward to 15 years, so don’t get one on a whim. Be sure that will you’re willing and able to support them financially, emotionally, mentally, and actually. Dogs require exercise, food, regular vet checkups, companionship, patience, training, space, love – the list goes on, ” Kai said.
For those who aren’t ready for a big commitment, fostering is another option.
“Fostering is component of our own rehabilitation process. It’s a chance for the shyer and more traumatized dogs to have one-on-one time with you to overcome their fears and adjust to a home environment. As a foster mom or dad, you’ll become giving all of them the care they need to heal both inside and out, ” she said.
“Be mindful that fostering is definitely for people who have the period, means, plus heart in order to work with rescues that need a lot more help than others, ” she added.
As of this writing, Lara’s Ark offers between 20 to 30 puppies and dogs that are up for adoption. Most of them have already been through hell, but you can never tell from their shiny coats plus bright eyes – a testament to what may happen when those that have been abandoned turn out to be the center of someone’s world.
Witnessing this – “how love can heal” – is what keeps the Lara’s Ark team going despite the challenges they face as pet rescuers.
As Kai said, “Seeing our protects recover along with us and seeing them blossom in their forever homes, it can make it all worth it. ” – Rappler. com