A no-kill animal shelter, Happy Animals Club, was ordered to close by the City Government of Davao due to “baseless complaints.” They call for a reconsideration of the decision.
On October 18, 2023, a no-kill animal shelter, Happy Animals Club, revealed that they faced orders to shut down operations by the City Government of Davao. According to founder Ken Amante, the order came as a result of “baseless complaints filed by our neighbors, Mamaril Construction, who are trying to take control of the property we are located on.”
Amante elaborates in a video posted to social media that said neighbors acquired the lot next door to the shelter in 2019, years after Happy Animals Club were already operating in their own lot. Instead of filing an eviction notice, the neighbors filed a complaint with City Health, citing noise and a foul odor from the premises. The shelter disputes the claims, and calls for a re-evaluation of the circumstances.
In the video, he says that the city government ordered Happy Animals Club to cease operations and padlock their gate. They were told the shelter that they would confiscate their animals and possibly take them to the dog pound, where they will most likely be put down.
ABOUT HAPPY ANIMALS CLUB
The Happy Animals Club animal shelter was founded in 2014 by a then-9-year-old Amante, who went viral for rescuing and feeding dogs around his area. People from all over the nation and even the world started to fund his cause, leading to the continuous operations of Happy Animals Club.
Since then, the shelter has been able to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome hundreds of animals. Amante’s team and operations soon grew over time. They answer requests to rescue animals in need, feed them, and find them new homes.
Amante shares with CNN Philippines that they recently got in contact with a lawyer and filed for a re-investigation. In the interview, he says that the shelter was given only a few days to vacate the premises and relocate all dogs and that the parties involved were uninterested in having a dialogue with them. Unfortunately, the shelter is unable to relocate due to budget constraints, and they assert that regardless, it was wrong for them “to be driven away by a false complaint.”
THEIR CALLS TO ACTION
Happy Animals Club took to social media to ask for help, alongside their own actions to address the issue. Their videos have reached thousands of views, likes, and shares, and people have voiced their support for the shelter. Overall, they call for visibility, support, and re-evaluation of the decision.
Share their story
Amante calls on people on social media to share the story of Happy Animals Club and the threat of closure imposed on the shelter. By amplifying the shelter’s call to remain open and sharing what they do, more people can be made aware of the issue and potentially help them out—the same way the community has kept them going all these years.
Contact the Davao City Government
Amante also calls on people to “contact the city government to protest this ridiculous decision.” By reaching out to the city government, perhaps they would turn willing to reassess their decision about the closure of Happy Animals Club. People have shared that they reached out to multiple parties, including the city government. Amante hopes to settle the property dispute in court instead, rather than race against time and pressure to cease all operations.
Sign the Change.org petition
A Change.org petition was started by PAWSsion Project, a non-profit animal welfare organization, and has garnered over 8,000 signatures in one day. The petition calls for a re-evaluation of the closure, an open, transparent dialogue between parties involved, and public support to recognize the service the shelter is providing to the community. The petition may be found here: Petition Against the Unjust Closure of Happy Animals Club Shelter in Davao, Philippines.
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