Then she found another dog, Cleo, and Ashley set out again to find her a loving home. This she continues to do while helping countless other animals and children living in the depressed communities in Pasay City through her animal welfare volunteer group called Pasay Pups.
Ashley is the heart and soul of Pasay Pups. She is a foreigner working here as senior campaigner for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). At night and on weekends, her other duty calls: helping Pasay's animals in distress.
Every Saturday morning, Ashley can be seen in the area with her backpack full of cat and dog food and essential medications as she look for new animals to care for, or visit those that she and her team of volunteers have been keeping an eye on.
“We provide basic care to the animals who call this area home, including meeting their basic veterinary needs, such as kapon/ligation, vaccination, parasite control, preventing infections in minor wounds, treating illnesses, giving flea and tick prevention, and curing skin conditions like sarcoptic mange or fungal infections. We also provide food, toys, baths, appropriate shelter (dog houses) and walks for chained dogs,” said Ashley.
Above all, the team extends love to the dogs, especially those who need it the most. The Pasay Pups founder is particularly keen on helping dogs that are caged or chained outside a house.
“This type of isolation is the cruelest treatment you can inflict on a dog. Chained or caged dogs often have their social and emotional needs completely ignored. Dogs are social pack animals who want—and deserve—companionship, scratches behind the ears, belly rubs, and to live indoors with their families,” Ashley said.
Ashley is aware the area she chose to work in can be dangerous territory, but she told MetroPets that she have never felt unsafe in the places she visited even though she often respond to emergencies late at night on her own.
“I am amazed at how the people in the area we work in treat me. Other women defend me if I'm being harassed by drunk men in the early mornings, or when I've carelessly left my backpack somewhere as I chase after an ailing dog or cat, I’ve returned to find someone I don't even know guarding it for me,” said Ashley.
Although the group occasionally puts up animals for adoption, Ashley explained that they are not running an animal shelter because their focus is on giving people the resources to better care for their animals, and to set a compassionate example for others to follow.
“When we see dog bowls filled with fresh water, and people walking or bathing their dogs, it reminds us that leading by example works,” she added.
Pasay Pups' worthy projects and adventures are documented in its Facebook account where the group occasionally calls for PayPal donations to support its free spaying and vaccination drives. In the years that it has been active, Pasay Pups has spayed or neutered over 200 animals, vaccinated hundreds more, and provided countless animals with basic veterinary care.
“You don't have to start a project like this one in order to improve animal welfare. You could educate your friends and neighbors about the importance of spaying and neutering animals, walk chained dogs in your neighborhood and offer them water, or adopt a cat or dog from the streets. Always speak up if you see an animal being abused,” said Ashley.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Photos by Pasay Pups