Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima lauded the admirable efforts of cat lover and animal advocate Sarrie Anne Capacia who continues to devote her time, resources, and heart into adopting and helping stray cats through her “Donate Meow” drive.
De Lima, a furparent to six dogs and a number of stray cats she adopted in her detention quarters, said she also dreams of an animal-friendly and animal-caring populace like Capacia.
“It is often said that ‘we can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.’ How we, as a society, embrace these meek and gentle creatures, speaks volumes of our character.”
“Loving and being loved by our pets humanizes us. They come in different species, breeds and sizes, but each one just as adorable. They teach us what unconditional love is, and how love always just patiently waits by the door for our return,” she said.
“I sincerely hope that this selfless act, which Ms. Capacia says brings her joy, resonates among the hearts of other Filipinos so we can make this world a home to these creatures. Like Ms. Capacia, I dream of an animal-friendly and animal-caring Philippines. Animals are living creatures too; how we treat them is a test of our humanity,” she added.
The “Donate Meow” drive is a feeding program for stray cats that was reportedly created in July 2021 by Capacia, who owns 12 cats and a dog.
Since its inception, it has already filled the tummies of more than 180 stray cats in many barangays in Manila. Capacia, along with her boyfriend, would take to the streets and feed cats, rain or shine, regularly after work hours.
On a personal note, De Lima shared that the reason she is “still able to keep a level head on my psychological bearings even while being unjustly detained” is due to the bonds she has nurtured with her adopted stray cats.
“I share the love and fondness of a growing number of Filipinos for our furbabies,” she said. “They make these detention quarters feel a little bit cozier despite the coldness of its bare walls and the harshness of the fences that surround me.”
The lady Senator from Bicol said know first-hand that her feeling is shared by those who have made pets part of their families, especially during these trying times.
“This is why many advocacy groups continue to display warmth to animals. Some have even gone viral for their selfless acts of nursing back to life stray cats and dogs, and reuniting the lost ones with their furmalies,” she said.
“Without love and respect for animals, we are bound not only to lose our humanity but also our shared destiny of a better future and ecosystem with them. Human rights go hand in hand with animal rights. Both must be upheld at all costs,” said she.
Notably, Capacia, in an interview, called for the stricter implementation of the country’s laws against animal cruelty, specifically, the amended “Animal Welfare Act” or Republic Act (RA) 10631, lamenting that people reprimand those who feed stray cats, with some even attempting to poison the food in some places.
Last 17 Nov. 2020, De Lima filed Senate Bill No. 1918, or the “Revised Animal Welfare Act,” which introduced comprehensive amendments to R.A. 10631 to make it more responsive to the times and strengthen animal protection. (30)