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Structural solution for Boracay’s stray animals

05:02 AM April 25, 2018

Dear President Duterte,

We represent the Aklan Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (AARRC) based in Kalibo, Aklan. AARRC is a local animal
welfare organization for cats and dogs and we specialize in disabled animals. Our mission is to serve the community in which we operate by providing sustainable solutions for stray animals and associated issues.

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As far as we are aware, none of the communications about the proposed Boracay cleanup released so far addresses animal-related issues. We strongly believe that a cleanup wouldn’t be complete without a sustainable, animal-friendly and effective method of stray animal population control. Although we have unsuccessfully tried to convince local authorities of the need for a continuous program, the cleanup will further increase this need as we expect that a significant portion of migrant workers leaving the island are going to leave their pets behind.

In cooperation with the Philippine Pet Birth Control Center Foundation and other welfare organizations, as well as local government units, we intend to organize a spay/neuter/vaccinate/deworm program that efficiently addresses issues related to stray animals. However, the clearly earmarked animals that go through our program should not be harmed or detained by the local authorities because this will jeopardize the continuity of the program. In addition to this program, we also intend to rescue a number of dogs and cats for adoption at a later time.

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Our request to you is two-fold: Firstly, we implore you to consider promoting the only proven and efficient method of stray animal population control, spay/neuter, which in combination with vaccination and deworming, will form the basis for future work and a healthy future for both animals and residents and visitors to the island. We offer to help organize and implement this program in cooperation with the cleanup authorities. In return we ask that the animals in our program be exempt from capture and euthanasia by local authorities to safeguard the continued participation of both foreign and national sponsors.

Secondly, to be able to help the cleanup effort, our people (all based in Aklan) and helpers will likely require occasional access to the island and we ask for your cooperation in granting them this access.

MICHEL J.L. VAN DER KLEIJ, EMMY KARNÓT and RALF SCHÄTZ, Aklan Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, [email protected]

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TAGS: AARRC, Aklan Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, Boracay cleanup, Boracay closure, Emmy Karnot, Inquirer letters, Michel J.L. Van Der Kleij, Ralf Schätz, Rodrigo Duterte
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