Here's how we used the rest.
It was a volunteer from Australia who visited the shelter in February 2015 who first taught us that you're not supposed to give cooked bones to dogs. But raw bones are fine. So we got two large beef bones for the dogs to enjoy. The dogs had never received something like that before, and it was quite an event.
We caught up on vaccinations. Due to low funding, we were behind on vaccinating the dogs and cats. About 20 animals were vaccinated for a total cost of 17,750 pesos or about US$385.
If there's one thing we learned since setting up the shelter, it's that it is critically important to apply tick and flea control (fipronil) to the dogs, regularly, to prevent parasite-borne diseases. Ideally, we like to administer fipronil once a month, but are often unable to do so due to lack of funding. This is a pity because it is much cheaper to prevent an infestation, than to deal with the medical complications after the animal has been infected.
It is very important to regularly weigh the dogs so we can see who is losing weight. Dogs kept as pets receive a lot of attention and monitoring from their owner, but at the shelter we have too many dogs to keep an eye on indvidually. The easiest way to monitor a dog's health is to see if the dog is eating, and to keep track of the animal's weight. We weigh all the animals at least once a week.
Unfortunately, our digital bathroom scale stopped working one day, even though the battery was still new. We bought two replacements, but they were inaccurate and the weight kept fluctuating - we'd weigh a dog and two minutes later the weight would be much higher or lower.
After a long search and rejecting numerous scales costing upwards of p20,000, we finally found a quality digital platform scale costing p9,000, which was just within our reach.
The shelter truck came with used tires, and the front tires were starting to wear out, so we bought two new ones for p4,000 in total, or just under US$100.
We were able to finally buy a microwave for the shelter kitchen, mainly for warming up kitten milk, but also so the evening shift can quickly warm up dinner without spending half an hour in front of the stove.
We found a used cage being sold in a garage sale. It was a bit rusty but otherwise in good condition. It has a removable partition, and can accommodate either one or two dogs. The cage is open above, making it ideal for administering IV fluids to sick dogs. We used it both for Tawny and Bradley when they were on IVs.
The dogs in Townhouse 1 were sloshing around in mud whenever it rained. Pascal in particular would get mud all over his belly. It was extremely satisfying to finally lay down some bricks for them.
The shelter was able to hire a carpenter and his assistant to fix numerous little things (such as doors which didn't latch properly anymore) and repair the window of Room 2, where we keep the juvenile cats.
Last but not least, the shelter was able to help numerous animals in need, and pay considerable veterinary bills for a number of rescues, which we wouldn't have had the budget for otherwise, notably Tawny, Bradley, Cooper, and the newborn kittens. These rescues and their conditions are detailed in separate updates.
Thank you to all our donors, especially to all those who donated so generously in the holiday season, for making all of these purchases possible.