Independent rescuer builds home for 35 stray animals and counting
A solo rescuer from Valenzuela City is giving stray animals a “second chance at life” by rescuing and building warm fur-ever homes for them.
Joy Delos Reyes, 40, started rescuing animals in 2018 after a heartbreaking encounter with a stray kitten that died in her hands despite her efforts to save it after being run over in Divisoria in Manila.
The tragic incident enkindled in her the resolve to continue saving stray animals as she cannot bear the weight of her heart that aches for the unfortunate animals.
Delos Reyes now shares a home with 27 rescued cats and eight rescued dogs.
Safe spaces for the rescues
Bringing home stray animals is never easy, and putting them together in one place screams chaos. Thus, Delos Reyes knew she needed safe spaces for them and a territory they could call their own.
To ensure her cats’ comfort and safety, Delos Reyes built a spacious cat house filled with necessities and amenities including pet toys, medicines and pieces of furniture.
She also plans to build a doghouse and kitten area for her other fur babies for them to be more comfortable and to provide them with good sleeping quarters. However, she executes her plans one step at a time as she juggles the demands of motherhood and being a rescuer.
The ups and downs
Delos Reyes is a mother of two and a vegetable and fruit vendor. She considers herself a “raketera” who is more than willing to do sideline jobs to sustain the expenses for her family and rescues.
In an interview with the Inquirer, she said that rescuing animals is a “lifetime commitment” for her but at the same time a “difficult” undertaking since taking care of them is costly as it needs high maintenance.
“Sa totoo lang po, kinakapos din talaga [kami] sa foods, kamahal po kasi ng pagkain nila. Mas madalas wala [kaming] stock pero sa diskarte at pagtutulungan naming mag-anak ay nairaraos, sapat ang nakakain nila at alam kong nasu-solve ko sila. ‘Pag maayos ang benta namin, asahan po masarap ang ulam nila kaya po kahit anong raket ng pagtitinda ginawa ko na,” Delos Reyes said.
(To be honest, we also run short on food because their food is quite expensive. More often than not, we don’t have any stock, but through resourcefulness and working together as a family, we get to manage it and provide them with enough food to eat. When our sales go well, you can expect them to have a delicious meal, and so I’ve taken various side jobs in selling to provide them that.)
“Ang pag-rescue po dapat may puso, hindi baleng ‘di ka mayaman,” she emphasized.
(Rescuing should come from the heart, never mind that you’re not rich.)
Despite the challenges, she never saw her rescues as a burden but as a blessing. She revealed she was once fond of hanging out with her friends, but having her rescued animals by her side gives her the determination to continue striving while spreading love and kindness.
For donations to support Delos Reyes’ rescue journey, you may reach her through her Facebook account, Clarrise Joy Del Rey. /ra
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