I went to China on a mission.
During the past several years I have witnessed many heart-wrenching images and videos coming out of China of horrendous acts of animal cruelty on the internet. Within a few clicks we have the ability to witness animals being skinned alive for fur and thousands of dogs and cats crammed into trucks on their way to slaughter in China. The graphic cruelty is often hard to take and has caused a hatred for China to brew among animal lovers. I know I felt an overwhelming anger for anyone that would treat animals in this way. With my anger I would strike out within the cyber world. Ultimately, my angry remarks and insults were doing nothing to help animals, only fueling the anger and hate that others were also feeling . I found that the more angry and hateful I became the more helpless and sad I felt.
I realized that I was being reactionary and unfair. I was judging a country that I had never been to and I was generalizing an enormous society that I barely knew anything about. I was reacting in a way that was against my own morals and I sought a way to change it.
Animals are suffering on a massive scale in China, that is a without a doubt. Dogs and cats are eaten in large numbers and animal welfare legislature is non-existent. The method of slaughtering dogs and cats in live animal markets and restaurants is tragically cruel. Markets in China employ killing methods that leave both dogs and cats suffering a lingering, violent death as they are either bludgeoned over the head, stabbed in the neck or groin, hanged, electrocuted or thrown conscious into drums of boiling water. It is bad, really bad but I imagined that if there are compassionate people who are against this cruelty all over the world that some of them must live in China.
I went to China on a mission to find them and boy did I ever! The kind-hearted and generous people that I found in China have given me a new respect for the word “hero”. These inspirational Chinese devote their entire lives and incomes to saving innocent animals in a country where animal welfare is barely a consideration for many. Their passion and determination moved me and in many ways changed me. Each organization that I visited deserves their own blog and much more but I will attempt to give a brief tribute to 6 of them here.
Professor Paws: Chengdu, Sichuan
In China many children have never had the chance to touch a dog and parents often tell their children not to do so because they think that dogs are dirty or carry diseases. Professor Paws is a sector of the tremendous organization Animals Asia that takes loveable canines into schools and various events to educate the children on how to look after and love dogs. It doesn’t take long for the children to appreciate the warmth that animals bring to our lives.
One of the Professor Paws celebrities
“Professor Paws” picnic for toddlers.
A future Chinese animal rights activist, thanks to Professor Paws
Qiming Companion Animal Protection Center: Qiming, Sichuan
The Qiming Companion Animal Protection Center was founded by Qiao Wei and his wife Li Yanpin. At their shelter they house 800 dogs who have been recused from the streets and from slaughter for human consumption. Adoption in China is not always a safe alternative for the dogs. Many adopted dogs are not properly looked after, abandoned and end up back in the meat trade. All of the dogs who live here will be safe from the street and from slaughter but may never find an adoptive home.
The founders of the Qiming shelter, Qiao Wei and his wife Li Yanpin
Qiao Wei is responsible for saving the lives of thousands dogs in China
Nanning Stray Cats: Nanning, Guangxi
Nanning Stay Cats was founded 4 years ago by a group of passionate young women. 24 year old Sun Lu is one of the 10 volunteers who is dedicated to rescuing stray and abandoned cats off of the streets. Once the cats are rescued the group gets them medical care, spays and neuters them, then houses them in either their small shelter or in foster homes until a reliable and safe adoptive home is found.
Volunteer Sun Lu and a newly rescued cat
Nanning’s longest resident cat hoping for a home
Dr. Jen gives discounts for treatment to the rescued cats brought in by the volunteers
Sun Lu with two more rescued cats
I Save You: Wuhan, Hubei
Xiao Fan began rescuing dogs 6 years ago. He started by rescuing one dog at a time off of the street, getting them the medical care that they needed then working to find an adoptive home. Before long he realized that he needed to build a shelter because of the massive amount of dogs in need. 2 years ago Xiao Fan opened the doors to his newly built shelter which is now houses 200 dogs. To date Xiao Fan is personally responsible for saving the lives of over a thousand dogs. He holds down a full time job to financially support the dogs as well as depending on donations. Xiao Fan is one of the most kind-hearted and genuine people I have ever met anywhere in the world.
Xiao Fan surrounded by his fans. Just a few of over a thousand lives that he has saved
It can be a crowded house especially when lunch is on its way
Every Saturday local volunteers come out to the shelter to help groom and care for the dogs
Volunteers give love and support to dogs who have come from lives of only abuse
A volunteer helping this rescued dog stay cool for the summer
Saturday volunteer group shot
Chong Qing Small Animal Protection Center: Chong Qing City, Chong Qing
On January 15th 2012 a transport truck carrying 800 dogs to slaughter, many of them already sick and injured was stopped by 200 volunteers on a Chinese highway. The direct action to rescue these dogs was organized by Mr. Chen, the founder of Chong Qing Small Animal Protection Center. It is at the 2 shelters that Mr. Chen and his wife Mrs. Deng founded that most of these dogs live today. With a staff of 8 people they care for an astonishing 1200 dogs. Previously, the couple ran a successful shop and business for many years before deciding to sell the business along with their home to devote their lives to saving animals. If anyone is ever looking for true heros for animals that have an enormous capacity for compassion they need not look any further than Mr. Chen and Mrs. Deng.
Mr.Chen and Mrs.Deng the founders of the largest dog shelter in China
The shelter housing 900 dogs from above
Two rescued dogs typical of the type bred for human consumption
Handan Animal Protection Institution: Handan, Hebei
The Handan Animal Protection Institute is run by a group of caring and determined animal lovers who are passionate about rescuing animals and ending the dog meat trade in China. The farm-like shelter houses over 200 dogs, 50 cats, 2 cows, 5 goats, 1 donkey and 1 horse, so far. It was in Handan that I was welcomed with so much love and generosity that I was beside myself. This group of amazing people have the biggest hearts that I have ever come across. Any animal in their care is a lucky one. I support them fully on their mission to stop the suffering of animals in China.
Working as a street vendor Wang Shu Yun spent years rescuing dogs in her home. She wouldn’t tell me how many she had but said that her neighbours complained endlessly. When she met Yu Hong Gang he agreed to help financially and together they opened this wonderful shelter
One of the care givers that works full time at the shelter
Long term volunteer Moi Moi giving love to a rescued paralyzed puppy
Luo Lu Lu, a beautiful woman inside and out. She is a regular volunteer devoted to ending the suffering of animals
The co-founder of the shelter, Yu Hong Gang is a energetic and passionate driving force behind making China a better place for animals
Zhao Hua spends everyday at the shelter leaving her old job at a restaurant behind. Despite her family disagreeing with her life choice to work for animals she is determined to do all that she can to make their lives better.
The Handan Animal Protection Team
The thought of the suffering of dogs, cats and other animals in China still breaks my heart and makes me angry. But now I have a way to help them and so do you. I have witnessed the work of these wonderful people who I now consider dear friends. They are the ones that are responsible for saving animals in China and they are the ones who will end the cruelty. Please support these Chinese organizations that are working to make China and the world a better place for animals. It’s possible to make a donation on all of the websites provided, unfortunately for those that cannot read Chinese they will be very hard to understand. If you want to give and don’t have a Chinese friend to translate feel free to contact me and I can help to make sure that any contribution gets into their needy hands.