In 2013, IRO Executive Director Nena Hernandez said goodbye to a rescue dog that was instrumental in the establishment of what is now known as the Lolo Ali Centre and is located in Nena’s family farm in Barili called Casa Chimal (“Beautiful House”). The centre’s namesake was one of the 63 Pit Bulls taken in by IRO after a dog fighting ring was raided in Cavite in December 2011. Nena had brought Lolo Ali to her farm to recuperate following a period of hospitalization due to illness and combined with his advancing years, Nena knew his chances of adoption were very limited. At the farm, Lolo Ali was able to enjoy one-on-one care and attention within a healthy and enriching environment. Nena soon recognized the value in being able to provide hospice and special care to IRO rescues in need.
The main aims of the Lolo Ali Centre are specific to an individual dog’s needs. For dogs receiving hospice care, they are given the chance to experience a life outside of the normal shelter environment before they pass. Nena aims for the dogs to feel like ‘normal’ dogs where they can play, run, enjoy walks, receive nutritious food and most importantly, feel love and compassion. Dogs with special medical issues receive daily medical care and treatment to assist their recovery. The Centre also takes in dogs with behavioural issues where they will receive professional training and behavioural modification to increase their chances of adoption.
With the capacity to house 10 dogs at a time, the Lolo Ali Centre has both short-term and long-term residents and during its time has had cases of cancer, kidney failure, heart worm, TVT, hip dysplasia, dogs with amputated limbs and many senior dogs. Although each resident comes with a different story, they will all receive the same dedicated care and attention while they call the Lolo Ali Centre home.
As IRO grows as an organization, so too has demand for spaces at the Lolo Ali Centre. Nena hopes that the Lolo Ali Centre can receive the funding needed to better equip itself with increased kennel housing and space, greater capacity for medical care and a dedicated isolation area.