‘Help spread the word’: Nadine Lustre rallies behind Davao City shelter following closure order

October 19, 2023 - 5:27 PM
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Composite photo of a screenshot of the closure order meted to the Happy Animals Club and a portrait of Nadine Lustre (happy.animals.club.animal.shelter, nadine/ Instagram)

Nadine Lustre showed support for a petition to save the animals of a shelter in Davao City, which has been ordered closed.

The Happy Animals Club (HAC), an animal shelter established nearly 10 years ago, received a closure order from the Davao City Government, citing an alleged “foul order” emanating from its premises.

The rescued animals, meanwhile, would be confiscated and brought to the dog pound where they could be euthanized if they were unclaimed for a period of time.

The Pawssion Project, a foundation dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating strays, quickly ran to help the facility and created an “SOS” petition on its social media accounts.

This petition caught the attention of Nadine, who is also a known dog lover.

She shared Pawssion’s post on her Instagram Stories where she also asked for help from her followers.

“Please help spread the word and if anyone has a contact from the LGU [local government unit] of Davao who can help, please contact Happy Animals Club,” Nadine wrote.

This post is no longer up on Nadine’s account.

Inquirer News managed to screenshot it and report it online on October 19.

In the post, which Nadine shared on her account, the Pawssion was calling for help in contacting the Davao LGU for the animals’ welfare.

“SOS!! Our friends at @happyanimalsclub @hac.animalshelter need our help!” the foundation said.

“Please help spread the word and if anyone has a contact from the LGU of Davao who can help, please contact @happyanimalsclub,” Pawssion also said.

Moreover, Pawssion also emphasized that it is difficult to build and run a new facility for the animals in their care.

“It is not easy to just vacate and build a new shelter. Not to mention, it is very costly too. Let us help any way we can, for the animals, always for the animals!” it said.

The foundation’s “SOS” call was also shared on the X app and the subreddit r/Philippines forum.

Why was it closed?

In a video on October 18, Amante explained that the HAC property’s shutdown was the provincial city health office’s response to a complaint filed by the “neighbors,” whom he claimed to be trying to “take control” of the shelter’s site.

“The neighbors bought the next-door lot in 2019 by which time we’ve already been here for five years. And they didn’t file any complaint until now,” he said.

“The reason they filed this complaint is because they want to harass us into moving. Our landlady passed away and our neighbor’s relative is trying to take control of this property. But instead of securing an eviction order from the court of law, they decided to file a complaint at City Hall about ‘foul order,’” the founder also said.

Amante defended HAC, saying: “There is no foul order.”

Amante set up the club for strays nine years ago through international donations and support from his father after gaining internet fame for his pictures of him feeding stray dogs.

His father was the one who took pictures of him and shared them on a popular subreddit forum r/pics.

Amante, who was only nine years old back then, kept it a secret at first until his father followed him and caught him.

Their story soon made international headlines at that time, thus capturing the hearts of many animal lovers.

Reports said that the Amante received over one million pesos in online donations at that time.