This Bulacan sanctuary takes the first step in ensuring working dogs are taken care of after years of service.
Have you ever wondered where our retired service dogs go?
After years of service in security hot spots all over the country, from Iloilo to Boracay and Marawi, the lives of these dogs are often forgotten once they’re no longer needed. Thankfully, one organization is leading the way in giving these retired working dogs the care and attention they deserve.
Hound Haven is one place where service dogs can find the care and proper home rarely given them upon retirement. Founded by Jerome Arcebal, Rachelle Arcebal, Maxin Arcebal, Addi Dela Cruz, and Chelsea Pecson, the organization has built itself as a refuge for dogs as well as a resource for those wanting to learn more about what can be done to help these often neglected members of our community.
“The goal is to get more people to learn about Hound Haven,” says Dela Cruz, “why we should care about these working K-9s, why we care about their retirement, and why they should get the same benefits as human beings do
While organizations such as the Philippine Army still offer resources for K-9s, more can be done in terms of support. “Currently we don’t have any programs that are institutionalized that cater to the retirement and rehabilitation of working dogs for both private security agencies as well as public institutions that employ K-9s such as the Philippine Army,” says Pecson. While these institutions still feed the dogs daily and give them water, as Pecson say, “because they’re not anymore active, the budget doesn’t really prioritize them.”
Hound Haven provides these retired K-9s the essentials such as a home and food, and they also provide rehabilitation through the help of their volunteers and visitors.
“The goal is to get more people to learn about Hound Haven, why we should care about these working K-9s, their retirement, and why they should get the same benefits as human beings do.”
- Addi Dela Cruz, co-founder of Hound Haven
“Our volunteers mostly come here to spend time with the dogs as part of their rehabilitation, getting used to strangers, getting used to other people,” says Arcebal. “The dogs have had, I think, very positive experiences because we’ve given them so much more than they would have have they stayed with the army.”
The sanctuary is just the start of what the founders want for the retired dogs. As it says on their website, Hound Haven’s goal is “to influence public policy and replicate Robby's Law (United States of America H.R. 5314) in the country, which promotes the transfer and adoption of working dogs at the end of their service.” This will go a long way in establishing a concrete process for working dogs to be taken care of after years of service.
While Hound Haven has amassed a growing number of volunteers, financial contributions will help ensure that the sanctuary has all it needs to provide the best care for these retired dogs. To learn how to donate, please visit https://houndhavenph.org/donate
Hound Haven is located in 353 Pinaglagarian St., Pulong Yantok, Angat, Bulacan. Visit houndhavenph.org to learn more.