years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Tiny chihuahua and big golden retriever first to qualify
Our Dr Dogs are now bringing comfort and healing to people in need in Shenzhen – the bustling Chinese city bordering Hong Kong.
With local animal welfare group Shenzhen Dog Website working as our Dr Dog support group, we recruited 24 tail-wagging “hopefuls” and their owners along to the first assessments in January 2007. The owners had to show proof that their dogs had all the necessary vaccinations before their dogs could be included in the comprehensive examination of the dogs’ suitability for the programme.
Our Education Director, Anneleise Smillie, and Dr Dog Programme Manager, Marnie Yau, checked the dogs thoroughly to see which ones would remain calm under any circumstances. Only two dogs passed – showing just how stringent our assessment process is.
Dr Lily, a lovely chihuahua, and Dr Helen, a beautiful golden retriever, both passed their tests with flying colours and were soon out visiting hospitals, homes for the elderly and orphanages to the obvious delight of the residents.
Anneleise said the fact that there had not been one single incident of one of our Dr Dogs snarling or biting during the thousands of visits they have made since the programme launched in 1991, was testament to the success of the assessment process.
Our China Relations Manager Christie Yang said that in 2006, Shenzhen introduced new dog regulations, making the city the most humane in mainland China in its treatment of dogs. She said the launch of Dr Dog would lead to greater understanding of the important role companion animals play in our lives and bring more respect for both dogs and cats.