As soon as the boy’s dad, Barry realized that his son was taking more time than usual to return home from school, he suspected that something was not right. He became even more concerned when he noticed that his son didn’t have any pocket money to buy toys or treats. To get to the bottom of things, he decided to secretly follow his son one day. However, what he discovered left him shocked. His son, Ken, was only eight years old when he started exhibiting an unusual level of responsibility for his age. He walked to school and back every day, without fail. However, as time went on, he began arriving home later and later. This change in behavior didn’t go unnoticed by his father, Barry Amante.

Barry was a hardworking man who ran a small business as a car mechanic. He knew that in order to support his family, he had to work long and hard and kept in his mind that nothing in life was ever given for free. Despite struggling financially at times, Barry always made sure to give his son a small allowance. It was important to teach Ken the value of money from a young age. But to Barry’s surprise, Ken had been broke for some weeks and wondered where the money was going. With his son’s odd behavior not showing a sign to stop even after a few weeks passed by, Barry knew he had to get to the root of it. Barry was planning to keep track of the time when Ken would arrive home, so one day while he was working keeping the garage door open, he was pleasantly surprised to see Ken arrive right on time. However, just 10 minutes later, Barry was taken aback to see Ken reappearing, still with a school backpack slung over his shoulders as he walked back down the road. Barry knew this was the day when everything comes to light.

The boy then walked into the local grocery store and came out with his backpack bulging as his curious dad was watching from a distance. Ken passed through what seemed a dodgy area and turned into a side road for Barry to find his boy standing in the middle of an empty road. As Barry was watching, his son lowered himself into a crouching position and pulled something out of his backpack. With Barry having no idea whatsoever, he heard a low noise and saw movement in the bushes on either side of the road only for three animals to lop out and circle around his crouching son suddenly. Barry was initially confused by what he saw, but he quickly sprang into action and ran toward Ken. He found a pack of dogs feasting on disposable plates and cans of dog food on the ground. Despite their poor condition and malnourishment, the dogs wagged their tails as they ate. Ken after seeing his dad confessed that he had been using his pocket money to feed the strays for two weeks. Even after feeling disgusted – which he was embarrassed to admit later on, Barry was impressed by his son’s selflessness but was also concerned about his son’s health, so he made a deal with Ken. He would buy food for the strays on the condition that Ken get a rabies vaccine and carry disinfectant in his backpack.

Being awestruck, Barry shared the story and a picture of Ken feeding the strays on Reddit, and it quickly went viral. He even wrote of his perspective being entirely changed by his son. Moved by Ken’s story, animal lovers from around the world began donating to support his dream of opening an animal shelter in Davao. Barry created a website and Facebook page as well called Happy Animals Club for Ken, and together, they opened a small shelter in their garage. With the support of donations, they leased a 1,000-square-meter lot, bought building materials, and hired carpenters. Ken is now a teen and the shelter has grown big as well, and it rescues not only dogs but also cats and kittens and any stray animals.