By Amy Priestes
One sign of a developed nation is humane treatment of animals, and the building of a new puppy rescue center in Fuzhou last year is a sure sign of Fuzhou’s progression as a modern city.
A street full of dog kennels lies on the outskirts of Fuzhou. Most of these kennels are used to breed specific breeds of dogs, but two of these kennels house homeless puppies and dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Dee and I took a trip to visit these kennels on May 6th, 2014. We were fortunate to have one of the main volunteers for the center, a lady named Xiao Hua, drive us out there.
The first rescue center we visited houses around 65 dogs and was built in June 2013. The building was fenced in and dogs had free range of the building and a yard to play in as well. They were not locked in cages, which was a relief, although some dogs were separated from others to prevent fights. The center is run by volunteers and one paid employee; so as you might guess, more volunteers show up on weekends. The dogs, many of which were playing, seemed relatively happy and well fed in the rescue center.
Each dog in the center has its own story and some of the stories are quite sad. For example, one cute little guy had been a stray digging through trash outside a restaurant and the owner of the restaurant threw boiling water on the dog to keep him away. The center received a phone call about this dog and when they found this poor stray, he was being beat by a guard nearly to death, coughing up blood. He’s just fine now, just waiting for someone to give him a proper home.
There was a also a tired looking, wary black chow who sat in the corner away from the others. This dog was left outside the kennel sometime around the Chinese New Year. This dog, like many others, has a story, but its story the world may never know.
The second dog rescue center has been in Fuzhou for about 7 years. It is less than a 10 minute walk from the new kennel. This second kennel was very large, housing around 200 dogs. Once again, the dogs seemed happy, well fed, and had plenty of room to run and play. This was a big old house that had been turned into a house for stray dogs.
The most fascinating thing about the second kennel was the lady who took care of the dogs. She was a small lady from another city, and was hired to live there in the house, with the dogs, full time. Living with her were her two grandsons, who were there at the time, and her husband, whom I didn’t meet. Most of the house was for the dogs, but two rooms were reserved for cooking, sleeping, eating, and storing clothing. The two little grandsons looked to be around the age of 6 or 7. She said the children were ready for school, but she had no idea how to get them into school. There residency belongs to another city so that makes it very difficult to get them into school in Fuzhou. Xiao Hua, our guide from the newer kennel we visited first, said she would look into helping this lady get those boys into school.
Contact Information for the new rescue center is as follows:
Call Ms. Lin at 13950201487 if you see an animal that needs to be rescued, cat or dog. (There is no house for cats, but the center can rescue them and try to find them a home.)
Call Xiao Hua at 18605916908 if you are interested in coming to the center as a volunteer to help the dogs.