China has a huge problem with stray dog populations, but these elderly Chinese women from Weinan, Shaanxi Province are actively working to do something about it. In 2009, 60-year-old Wang Yanfang established a shelter to feed stray dogs, and since then the shelter has grown to care for more than 1,300 stray dogs, thanks to 5 dedicated volunteers.
These women wake up every morning at 4 AM to treat the dogs to 400kg of scrumptious dog food. The dog asylum keeps the dogs out of the pound and from being put down, and operates completely on donations from generous supporters.
Wang took on four additional volunteers once her dog asylum began to expand. All of the ladies that help keep these dogs happy and well-fed are in their 60’s and 70’s. These ladies put the dogs first no matter what, even during China’s incredible New Year’s Eve firework display, Wang and her team skipped out on the show in order to care for and feed stray dogs.
It’s not all dog bones and high-paws, the dogs can get mean at times, and all of the ladies have received a fair share of bites and nibbles over the years, and have even required medical treatment. Regardless, Wang loves her stray dogs to pieces. In an Interview with Tencent News Wang said, “They’re like your children, you can’t bear to be apart from them, or to lose them.”
China has a lot of issues with stray dog populations. Most of the quick-fix solutions that have been proposed over the years end in cruel policies that do nothing to look after the wellbeing of the animal. One of the policies mandated in central Beijing banned dogs larger than 13.7 inches, and enforced the rule with nighttime raids by government dog snatchers.
Another method used to cut back stray dog populations is culls, which results in large numbers of dogs being exterminated. Earlier this year in Yunnan province, over 5,000 dogs were put down due to a rabies outbreak that resulted in 5 human deaths.
China has received a lot of bad press in the past in regards to a lack of animal welfare policies, but this heartwarming story shows another side to the story. There are organizations currently working to make big changes, and Wang and her team of devoted dog lovers are a part of this much-needed progression.
The women established the dog asylum as a way to keep the dogs out of local pounds. Wang always felt sad for the dogs taken away by regulators, and so Wang went through the process of applying for permission to open up an asylum for the dogs. She was granted permission and has since been able to expand her efforts.
The stray dog population is rapidly increasing in China, causing Wang to take on more staff members to help get the job done. These ladies don’t just feed the dogs; they also groom them and make sure they are healthy and happy.
Wang fell in love with caring for dogs after taking care of her first dog back in 2000. She is now a selfless and very devoted dog lover willing to alter her entire life in order to give back to man’s best friend. The ladies wake up at 4 am every morning in order to prepare the massive amounts of food so that it is ready for the dogs in time for breakfast.
While it’s a lot of work, requires waking up very early and sometimes ends in a brutal dog bite, the work is very rewarding. Lucky for all of these stray dogs, the sweet elderly women plan to continue their mission to feed stray dogs and look after their four-legged friends otherwise largely forgotten and even abused.