Even though they are meant for the dead, sometimes, cemeteries also provide solace for those people and creatures that are still living. For example, we’ll be looking at the Sarhento Mariano cemetery in the Philippines. This is a place meant for the dead, but a number of poor families often use it as shelter and many call it home. Along with these families, there are also about 150 dogs that also live at the cemetery, and were basically left to die there by their owners.
But thanks to the kindness of one woman, these dogs that no one wanted now have a new lease on life. Click through to read their story.
#12 The Only Option For Shelter
As mentioned, the Sarhento Mariano Cemetery was a place made to hold the bodies of people who had died. But when times got tough for some families, they had to set up shop here for shelter. People and animals alike lived together in these terrible conditions because it was all they had.
#11 Conditions Are Worse for the Dogs
While the people are of course struggling living here, it is nothing like what the dogs are going through on a day-to-day basis. The dogs are all extremely hungry, and lack love and affection. Many have developed sarcoptic mange, which is a condition that causes them to lose their fur.
#10 Shocking Discovery
Despite the large amount of people and animals living here, most people didn’t know how bad the conditions were there for both the humans and the dogs. But a couple of years ago, Ashley Bruno (who founded a local rescue group called Pasay Pups), discovered the place and couldn’t believe her eyes.
#9 On Death’s Door
She was so shocked and appalled that she knew she had to do something to help. Most of the animals here were near death and she simply could barely find words to describe how bad the situation was for them. She began by getting a team of volunteers to take the dogs for walks and give them some love.
#8 Happy Dogs
As you could imagine, this was all amazing and new territory for the dogs. These dogs were used to almost no attention and now they were not only getting some companionship and walks, but also receiving some much-needed love and affection, as well as some food and medical check-ups.
#7 Family Pets
Despite the horrific conditions, the dogs were actually seen by some of the people living in the cemetery as part of the family. But the problem was, with the people themselves struggling to survive, they often couldn’t give too much love, affection and food to these pets as they had their own battles to deal with most of the time.
#6 Dog Ownership is Different
In largely developed nations, if we own a pet, we will feed it numerous times a day and it will live with us. But in the Philippines, they do things a little differently. A dog is often considered yours if you feed it once a week and it lives generally close to you. Most dogs will roam around looking for food where they can get it.
#5 Children are Most Important
To improve how the animals are treated by people in the area, it starts with education. And according to Bruno, it starts with the children. If they are educated from a young age how to best care for animals, it will go a long way in influencing the adults to make some positive changes as well.
#4 Group Education
In order to give these animals a better chance, the group (headed up by Bruno herself) visited all the communities in the area and educated them about how to better care for and treat these dogs. While it was a good effort, it is hard for the families since they also have it pretty bad themselves.
#3 The Dogs Appreciate It
There was once a time where all the dogs at the cemetery were near death and in terrible shape, but now, the dogs have a new lease on life thanks to Bruno. The dogs are extremely happy to see her when she comes by and most are doing much better than before she came.
#2 Community Banding Together
Bruno’s help not only made a difference for the dogs, but also for the community as a whole. In fact, some of the locals are even joining her cause to feed, walk and better care for the dogs. This is an amazing example of the actions of one person leading to a massive change in collective conscience.
#1 Long Term Change
I mentioned earlier that the biggest goal was about educating the youth in the area and it seems that Bruno and her group accomplished that. Children are now treating the dogs like companions and friends, which will surely rub off on the adults so these dogs will have a much better life going forward!
As you can see, the kindness of one woman helped to inspire an entire community to make a positive change for the better. If it wasn’t for her helping the community “see the light,” the positive impact that was made would have never come to fruition. While many of us think that one individual often can’t make a positive change, this great example shows that is not the case. If more people had the kindness that this lady in the story did, the world would be a much better place to live for both humans and animals alike.