29-year-old Tina Tee was raised by her parents to have fears of dogs and warned her to stay away from these animals.
Growing up, she assumed that dogs would attack and bite anyone who comes in their way until he met the one who made her realize that what she believed was wrong.
She met an Australian man named Greg Wells, 48, who happens to be a dog lover.
Tina always assumed the canines would hurt her if she got close. But Greg had influenced her to start loving these animals and completely changed her perspective.
He also convinced her that these adorable dogs would never harm her.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Tina said:
“I was really trying to get away from them. But he said, ‘No! They do not bite. They need our care.’ Look at me now, I love dogs.”
As Tina and Greg’s romance blossomed, their passion to protect the welfare of stray dogs started as well.
The couple’s first adopted stray dog was named Tyra, they saw the poor dog, in a pitiful condition, roaming around the streets of Cebu City in 2016.
When they went to Bantayan Island, the couple found more dogs that needed love and care. They adopted more and more dogs, and now the couple is looking after 106 pooches and counting.
Tina and Greg bought a property in Santa Fe, Northern Cebu where they opened their own dog sanctuary. They called it “Island Sanctuary,” and it has a quarantine area for sick dogs, a pet cemetery, and composting corner for dog waste.
“We set up (the sanctuary) because of necessity to help homeless animals on Bantayan Island… that expanded when we started finding dogs crammed in cages with no food and water, ” Greg told CDN Digital.
Every single day, they work very hard just to provide the dogs with all the love and care they deserve.
These stray dogs turn into stress-relievers for the couple and they consider them as part of their family.
“They are like our children already,” Greg said.
But just like any other relationship, the couple also has some arguments, but Tina believes that looking after the dogs are helping their relationship survive and make them stay together.
Tina is urging everyone to adopt rescued dogs and they also appeal to individuals, animal advocates, and government agencies to assist them in nursing the dogs.
“(Our) message is to adopt a rescued dog. They are beautiful and amazing and so loving. If (you) can’t adopt, be nice to street dogs, feed them and give them water,” she told CDN Digital.