I met animal rescuer Rebecca Tieng in April 2013. She was the Caring and Responsibility for Animals (CARA) Welfare Philippines member who was fostering Matylda (aka Matty), our beloved family dog for over a year now.
Rescuing Dogs in Different Parts of the World
“I first started rescuing when I was based in Dubai as a cabin crew back in 1995. There was a shelter founded by a British person. A lot of mongrels and purebred dogs were driven to the desert and abandoned. Some were left to die in the rented apartments or villas when their expat owners left the country. Some were tortured and neglected in their own homes. Even though I would be away for several days many times a month, I still adopted, rehabilitated and found good homes for some dogs I took from the shelter. I would always look forward to going back to Dubai to be with my furbabies as they were my stress relievers.”
“After I had migrated to Canada, I decided to open my own mobile dog grooming business. I took a correspondence Canadian online course from which I got a diploma as a certified dog groomer. I was pretty successful driving a 40-foot mobile trailer and had regular clients in no time. Driving around town, I chanced upon lost dogs and I continued rescuing. It was very easy to rescue in Canada as almost all of the stray dogs were friendly and disease-free. Tracking their owners were easy too because I just had to bring the dogs to the vet to scan for microchip or call the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) for help.”
“My ex-husband never liked dogs and I had 5 yorkies. He even gave me a choice of either him or the dogs and I answered that I cannot live without my dogs. He constantly nagged about my dogs and so apart from other issues, my love of dogs was one of the reasons why our marriage fell apart. I don’t regret that decision; I never will.”
Rescuing Dogs and Cats in Manila
“My mother convinced me to move back to Manila in 2009 after my husband and I separated. On my first month in Manila, all I could think of was why did I ever come back to Manila. I couldn’t believe how every street , every corner of Quezon city had wandering dogs. Some were mangy, some were emaciated, some were normal. When I saw Mang Rudy who lived in a kariton (cart) and had more than ten sick dogs, I brought him food and accessories as the dogs were in pathetic conditions. I contacted a prominent animal welfare group but they said they could not help as their shelter was full. I then contacted CARA Welfare and they came within 24 hours to help.”
“From that day in 2009 till now, I’m not sure how many dogs and cats I’ve rescued. I estimate more than 90 dogs including puppies and more than a hundred cats and kittens. I now have around 35 dogs and 45 cats. This is apart from the ones I feed in the streets. If a stray dog or cat is very difficult to rescue, I ask CARA’s catchers to do it. If the dog is friendly enough, I do it myself. I put a leash around its neck and coax it to get into a kennel. I always have water and food in my vehicle so that I can feed stray animals and also put medicine for mangy dogs whom I cannot take in anymore or those that have owners.”
How to Care for Almost a Hundred Rescues
“Ninety-nine percent of my rescues are sickly, nearly dead or badly injured. It usually takes weeks or months of medical attention, given by my good veterinarian friend Dr. Mace Licuanan . Because her heart is in the right place, I am confident that my rescues are well cared for and have a high chance of surviving. Since I can’t afford to be kicked out of my rented house for noise pollution (my fubabies bark the village down even before I arrive at my gate), I have to divide the dogs between my house, warehouse and office. I have houseboys to care for them. My cats are all in my house. They aren’t noisy and are not bothered by the dogs.”
“It’s really not difficult to care for that many animals. I consider myself blessed to have rescued them. The unconditional love they give back is worth every penny or peso, every minute that I’ve spent for them. Occasionally, I get a little financial donation which helps but is never enough to cover expenses. But God is good. Even if I live pay check to pay check, somehow, I don’t need to rob a bank to make ends meet ;). Because caring for my furbabies are financially overwhelming, I’ve stopped calculating expenses. As long as I am able to provide for their needs, I don’t see why I have to stop rescuing or helping other animals in distress.”
“I used to ask myself why I always see these poor animals whether I’m overseas or in Manila. Then I realized that I choose to see them. That is why I see them even if they’re put in a sack and thrown in the garbage, under a vehicle or in a niche that most people don’t notice. I rescue because it’s my choice; just feeling sorry puts a weight on my conscience that’s too heavy to carry.”
Looking for New Homes for Rescues
“I look for kind and loving families. And with the financial capability to provide good food, medical attention and a secured home. The dog must be treated as a family member, not a guard dog and not to be allowed to just roam free.”
If you are interested to adopt a dog from Rebecca, please email me or comment below.