Chinese Heroes

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.




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34 Responses to Chinese Heroes

  1. Tina Takach says:

    Thanks for cover­ing this story. You are very brave, I could not witness, yet let alone know about the cruelty without being very changed in a way that I could not cope. I have a great respect for you. All the best Julie. Hope to see you in the near future. xox Tina

  2. Heidi Aubrey says:

    What a wonder­ful story. It provides a glimmer of hope.

  3. catherine turley says:

    i can never figure out how to donate on any of these sites, even after trans­la­tion. we need to help these people because they proba­bly don’t have much local support.

    • admin says:

      Hello Cather­ine,
      Please contact me directly and I can try to help. I can contact each of these shelters directly via friends in China who speak Chinese and we can work out a way for you to help.
      Thanks for caring,

  4. annie says:

    This is so heart­en­ing and inspir­ing ‚fantas­tic people who are so gener­ous with their time,energy,relentless deter­mi­na­tion. They deserve and need our support and encour­age­ment ‚bless them all.

  5. Lesley Sloan says:

    It is not very often that we here “good news” stories from China when it comes to animals. It’s usually the opposite — pictures of the dogs in trucks on the way to a death that is so unimag­in­able to me I cant even let my mind go there. Great to see the pictures of the people that have sacri­ficed so much to save the animals and of course the pictures of the animals. As Heidi mentions above, your blog gives us a glimmer of hope.

  6. ali says:

    This story warmed my heart! The abuse and torture of animals happens in every corner of the world, but there are heroes in every corner to. Reading and seeing the images which shows the love and compas­sion these people have for the animals in their care.…gives me HOPE for the animals in China.

  7. Anneke Andries says:

    so promissing.….love it

  8. Helen Auzins says:

    Thank you, you are true angels, we need more people like you on earth!!

  9. what wonder­ful story!!!!amaizing and also very touch­ing. now i think that no every­body in china it bad. !!!!!! thnks for thi s article it had bring hopes to my life about the animals at there. i want help!!!!

  10. Trudi Hermon says:

    What a lovely story! I too have been horri­fied and deeply upset by the images and stories coming out of China, and vowed never to visit the country, where it seemed every­one treated animals cruelly. It is there­fore so heart­warm­ing to read about these heros who are saving animals on a daily basis, and I only hope that the Chinese children of today grow into adults who also appre­ci­ate animals and want to treat them kindly and with respect.

    I would like to help in some way whether that be by donat­ing or volun­teer­ing. I would appre­ci­ate it if you could contact me to discuss further.

    Many thanks.

  11. mimi Kim says:

    Thank you… GOD BLESS CHINA!!!

  12. Lindsay Myers says:

    Thank you for this. It’s so easy to let preju­dice boil up when I see these poor animals in such horri­ble scenes…your work helps to temper that. I could never have witnessed what you have. Your photos give hope. Tnx again.

  13. nil cam says:

    this pepole and their stories are so wonder­ful, that i cried during i read the article. it’s so wonder­ful to know that there are people in such a big country like china, who really cares for the animlas.
    You guys are so amazing i admire you all. i know we can change the situa­tion if we work and support each other. thank you very very much for saving so many and so precious lifes.

    I would like to help in any possi­ble way so please contact me =)
    Regards from Germany

  14. thank you kindly, i´m a retired finnair stewardess flew for 34 years with labradors trying as 1 person to inform about tha asian meat dog, stolen pets, abandoned pets etc…to the dog world. i will follow you eagerly, best ritva in finland

  15. merce corraliza says:

    Looking at these images not only warms my heart but even makes me cry of happi­ness to see these true heros.We all have to support these heros so that the barbaric killing of innocent dogs and cats (humans precious friends) ends once and for all in China,and well not only in China but the rest of the world.

  16. Vanessa says:

    Thank you so much, Julie, for sharing with us the faces of those who are going to change their part of the world forever.

  17. cynthia andrews says:

    Julie, I appre­ci­ate what you have shared with us. These six groups are filled with true heroes. It is very true that you can’t paint every­one with the same brush. I hope that others in China will see what wonder­ful work is being done and just maybe the powers that be, will step in and help. You are very inspir­ing and much admired.….……

  18. Emily says:

    What touch­ing photos. Thank you for taking the time to share your visits to these Chinese animal rescues. I was lucky enough to volun­teer at the Hong Kong Dog Rescue in Hong Kong about 7 years ago, yet another great rescue. Fortu­nately, there are a lot of caring people in China; what would help tremen­dously is if the govern­ment would get on board. The animals need to have protection.

  19. Taryn says:

    Julie — astound­ing and inspir­ing work !

  20. Jolien says:

    I just felt exact the same way you did/do, about being angry because of all the animals suffer­ing in China (and also rest of the world). I felt more and more sad and sometimes I’m asking myself what will become of this world we live in.. Right at that moment.. I saw your blog! It’s wonder­ful what you did, the people you are telling about are great! The pictures are beautiful!

    Thank you very much for sharing these great stories of these wonder­ful people!

  21. edwina cusdin says:

    Thankyou ‚thankyou! The dislike for this country has been boiling over in me ever since I saw the night­mare pictures of their treat­ment of dogs and cats. Now I see that there are compas­sion­ate people who are working so hard to re dress some of the damage done. I will support them as much as I am able, and hope that change will come one day
    . Thankyou again

  22. Mary-Anne says:

    There is a very valuable lesson here, thanks for bring­ing the goodness of China to light, we must remem­ber there is always two sides!

  23. jo wilkins says:

    Thanks for sharing the stories of these wonder­ful people..It’s given me a glimmer of hope. I’ve seen so many heart­break­ing and disturb­ing images of unbeliev­able cruelty to dogs and cats in the food/fur trade in China.. God bless you kind souls!

  24. Colin Sharp says:

    Its great to know that the love for these animals is slowly filter­ing through the Chinese people,one day hopefully the animals will gain full respect from the Chinese people

  25. Teresa.Moy says:

    I too though of china as the most cruel place on earth when it came to animals„but then I saw the great work/rescue of animals by the people ‚with good hearts miracles can be achieved,I still cry and get angry at the people that commit such horren­dous acts,but it warms my heart to know,not every­body is cruel in china ‚hopefully the good will outweigh the bad.…education,compassion and love is the way.…thanks to wonder­ful people !

  26. Nasha Tachan says:

    Given the fact that 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. Perhaps inter­na­tional adoption is a good idea for animal shelters in China. By doing so, not only it will help to off load finan­cial respon­si­bly of the shelters, it will also makes more rooms for future rescues as well as sending out positive news to the out side world. Animal shelters in Thailand, Iran, etc open for inter­na­tional adoption.

  27. sandra poveda says:


  28. Carol Reins says:

    Bless­ings to those Chinese people who are making an impact about the cruelty regard­ing the dog/cat meat and fur industry…change comes from within. Thank you so much for the work you do to save these animals in the face of so much cruelty and lack of compas­sion. I salute you.

  29. Sunya says:

    Thankyou so very much for the these beauti­ful stories of hope and true kindness. Animal suffer­ing knows no borders. These people are all heros and are chang­ing the future of China; as we should all be helping change how we as humans treat all animals.
    I hope that you will ask for contact info for each rescue/shelter, so that we may share this info with a ‘donate’ button or link.
    Thankyou, the pictures were so amazing..I fell in Love with the grey kitty-cat. I wish I could have him x

  30. Mark zhu says:

    Voice of China. Thanks so much to Julie and Patrick’s mission to China. so many people get good influ­ence from you.

  31. Sabi says:

    These people are real heroes — big thanks!
    And thanks to the author of this article who helped me to deal with my own anger and frustra­tion. Please go on inform­ing about positive things as well, even this makes our word a better place.

  32. Sasha Weigel says:

    This is such fantas­tic work Julie. You really capture the spirit of each of the animals you’ve photographed– each picture is like a pierc­ing direct entry into their soul. Amazing! And what a wonder­ful organi­za­tion that’s doing this great work!

  33. Barb Hautanen says:

    Thank you for bring­ing atten­tion to these wonder­ful animal-loving people in China! When I was there, all I could think about was all the dogs that were being eaten :-(

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