With the socially debilitating effect brought about by the pandemic, pets are now becoming a member of the family for many.Not too long ago, pets weren’t allowed in most malls in Cebu. Today, establishments are encouraging pet owners to bring along their furry friends, whether it be shopping, dining or even just strolling. Some malls even have pet parks as attractions.With their puppy-dog eyes, cute little paws and wagging tails, it’s no wonder why many people are becoming dog lovers.IRO, a non-profit, non-governmental organization which was founded in February 2010 as a casual conversation between animal-advocates, promotes responsible pet ownership. It also rescues strays and finds them a new home. IRO is headed by its president, Annalyn Aizpuru, and she personally talks to would-be fur parents at their many adoption drives.Annalyn dreams of a country where every dog and cat belongs to a loving home, where shelters are no longer needed. IRO is currently taking care of about 150 dogs and 70 cats across its shelters in Cebu: One in Barangay Guba, Cebu City where the general populace of the rescues are residing; one in Mandaue City where it house several special-needs cats; and the last one in Barili where the senior and special-needs dogs are.With a lot under its care, IRO is happy that many veterinary professionals offer their time, effort and even medical supplies, including vaccines to support their cause. But the organization is in constant need of volunteers.However, Annalyn said that there are other ways to help, including fostering for those who can’t commit to adopting and donating for those who can provide monetary assistance or donations of pet food and pet-care supplies. IRO has pop-up stalls in Parkmall in Mandaue City every second and fourth Saturdays of the month for their adoption drives. At these stalls, IRO hopes its rescues would finally find their permanent owners and homes.For those wanting to adopt a pet, IRO will conduct an on-the-spot screening to ensure that you find the perfect match in terms of energy levels, playfulness and the like. Annalyn said that she hopes through their actions, the voiceless would get the same fair treatment as humans and hopes that every stray and abandoned pet gets a second chance in life.