EL NIDO, Palawan — Animal rights advocates from the Palawan Animal Welfare Foundation (PAWF) have been feeding stray dogs and cats in this town since the onset of the quarantine.

PAWF said even if they are strays, people should also care for them in the absence of facilities that can provide their needs when they go hungry.

French national Myriam Elmsadder, a PAWF volunteer who feeds them in Barangay Corong-Corong, said Saturday that they have been helping the stray dogs and cats for over a month now.

She said their feeding operation also reaches Barangays Villa Libertad and Caalan Beach in Masagana. The fund they use to buy food is from donations and from PAWF.

Aside from dog and cat feeding, they also take care of those with parasitic infections and skin problems.

“We also give medicines to treat parasitic infections or skin problems like mange. A veterinary doctor who is also volunteering for the foundation gives us advice on how to treat them. Here in Corong-Corong, we do it three times a week, feeding them from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.,” Elmsadder said.

PAWF, a Filipino-Belgian animal foundation, promotes and protects all kinds of animals, Elmsadder explained. They organize campaigns for free sterilizations in Puerto Princesa City, Port Barton, El Nido, and other areas in Palawan.

In addition, they have adoption programs for dogs and have rescued many injured or sick animals, she added.

In El Nido, she said many animals depend on leftover food from tourists and restaurants. Since the lockdown started, it has been hard for them to find food.

“When I go to sleep, I always think of the many dogs that will also sleep well because they’re not hungry anymore. What we are doing is also good for us since now we know already where to find many of the females for it to be easier for us when the next sterilization campaign comes,” she said.

Lian Gueriba, a pet owner, noted that there are many irresponsible dog owners in El Nido and that the implementation of the local ordinance promoting animal welfare is weak.

“Dapat kasi meron drive ‘yong munisipyo tungkol sa mga dogs. Alam ko may ordinance pero simula lang, nakakatakot na ang mga dogs sa kalsada. ‘Yong iba naman kasi nag-aalaga pero hindi naman responsable. They are not bothered na gagala-gala ‘yong mga alaga nila,” she said.

Meanwhile, Elmsadder said PAWF’s resources are also limited to sustain the campaign to take care of the stray dogs and cats, and people’s help is needed.

For those who want to help the El Nido PAWF volunteers, they can donate through Paypal: paypal.me/elnidocatsanctuary or BPI: 3499051122 or PayMaya/GCash:+639233447350 and add to note in your donation: “It’s for feeding El Nido stray dogs” or send message to  https://www.facebook.com/Palawananimalwelfare/