Some kids want to be a doctor, teacher or firefighter when they grow up. Ken Amante wanted to open an animal shelter. He landed his dream job and he didn’t even have to wait until he grew up to make it happen.
It all started back in February 2014 when photos of Ken feeding stray dogs in the Philippines went viral. Ken, who was nine at the time, captured the hearts of many, and those people donated money to help him care for the dogs.
“We got enough money to get the dogs I was feeding off the street, feed them high quality canned food, and provide them with veterinary care,” Ken writes on his shelter’s website. “They gained a LOT of weight, their open wounds healed, and their fur grew back. They also learned not to be scared of humans.”
Not only that, but Ken got enough money to start a no-kill animal shelter. The Happy Animals Club opened May 2014 in southern Mindanao, and it is still going strong.
This past February, staff provided updates on several animals rescued and treated by the shelter, including a dog with an infection of the uterus called Pyometra, two very young abandoned kittens who were adopted by one of the shelter’s cats, and an extremely emaciated dog named Dustin.
“Since the shelter is already home to more residents than we originally intended, we only rescue the most severe cases,” the update reads. “The criteria for being rescued are that the animal is unlikely to survive on its own, and that it is willing to be rescued.”
The shelter’s biggest challenges, according to a YouTube video posted by the organization, are getting enough donations to care for the animals and finding good homes for all of them.
He may be small, but Ken is making a big impact on the lives of animals in need. He’s an inspiration to us all.
To make a donation to the Happy Animals Club, click here.