German national leaves home to save stray cats and dogs in PH
Before deciding to retire, Imanuel Theodor Willburger-Wild was working as a marketing professional for a global dental company. Part of his job was to travel around the world to support their international branches.
“That’s how I came to love Asia,” he said.
The Philippines proved to be the most special as he fell in love with its people, nature, and climate. So, he emigrated in 2011.
His journey of saving stray cats and dogs started when he heard two puppies crying by the creek while jogging with his dogs. He saw no one around so he decided to take them home. A few days later, he saw 3 more. After half a year, he has saved a total of 50 stray animals.
Today, Imanuel works full time as a German language teacher. “I mostly train nurses so they can work abroad. I’ve already retired, but I needed to work here in the Philippines in order to finance this costly rescue mission – and I don’t regret it,” he said.
He runs a rescue group called Wild Rescue Crew, which currently houses more than 90 cats and dogs. While he has a full-time helper who feeds them twice a day and does simple medications such as deworming, he works alone and shoulders all the cost.
Asked about where he usually finds abandoned cats and dogs, he said they’re either on the road, inside sacks, walking along busy streets, or in dump sites. He catches and brings them home in a cage and sometimes transports them using his motorbike.
He organizes adoption events in hopes of finding homes for them. A Facebook post of his event, which was held in Robinsons Galleria, Cebu, went viral last July 18.
Wild Rescue Crew doesn’t ask for an adoption fee. They even offer free deworming and consultation for minor illnesses. The only thing you have to pay for are 3 vaccinations worth P1,200.
Imanuel makes sure adopters can afford to feed them and have them checked by a veterinarian for critical cases. He also encourages them not to have their adopted cat or dog leashed or caged all day and night – he regularly visits the adopted animals to check on them.
Since he started organizing adoption events in 2015, he has successfully mounted more than a hundred. He’s thankful for having volunteers who are willing to devote time and resources to help him make things happen.
His ultimate goal is to rescue 1000 animals. By then, he hopes that someone else will take his place to continue his mission of finding homes for abandoned cats and dogs.
He urges the public to keep supporting rescuers like him.
You can help Imanuel take care of rescued animals by sending money via BPI, BDO, or Paypal. For more details, please send him a message through his Facebook account.
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