One of the most difficult things to learn as you grow up is that the world isn’t as soft and pretty as you once pictured it in your head. Famine, sickness, crime, and homelessness are some of the negative aspects of our world that we don’t fully grasp until a bit later into early childhood. Even then, many of us still barricade ourselves from those things, becoming oblivious to the realities of what other people on our planet are victims of.
However, not every child distracts themselves from the worries of the world and moves on as if they don’t exist. Some children, like Ken Amante from the Philippines, take action when they want something to change. In fact, when the young boy discovered that the stray dog population in the Philippines where he lives was high, he felt a strong need to do everything he could to help, despite coming from a financially-struggling middle-class family.
While the boy knew he couldn’t completely resolve the problem, he first started to give back by spending all of his allowance on feeding as many stray dogs near his home as he could. Not only did he quickly develop empathy for a starving, wild pack of dogs from the moment he looked at them, but his parents’ stories about working hard for what you want inspired him to do this kind deed.
In the beginning, Ken didn’t tell his parents about what he was up to. It took him longer and longer to get home from school, and he no longer had money to buy new toys. That’s when the boy’s dad decided to spy on him one day. He spotted Ken feeding a small group of wild dogs canned food that he purchased from a grocery store on the way home, backpack still on and all.
Eventually, the dad told the boy that he had been watching what he was doing and was very proud of it. Ken admitted his little “secret,” then informed his father that he had been feeding a stray canine named Whitey for months before two other dogs, Brownie and Blackie, also showed up.
Ken’s dad was so pleased with his son’s act of kindness that he took it to Facebook. After his dad’s post went viral, people started sending money to Ken to ensure he could continue to afford to feed the strays. Then more money came, so much that Ken and his family decided to start up a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter called Happy Animals Club. Before Ken’s 10th birthday, he officially opened his own organization!
Whitey, Blackie, and Brownie, his initial rescues, were shortly rehomed.
Now Ken doesn’t only help stray dogs find a forever home but also cats. It’s incredible to think that such a young kid is already well on his way to saving thousands of lives. It all starts with a kind heart and a dedication to not only making a change but being the change!
Learn more about the Happy Animals Club in the video below.