Animals Asia has provided a grant of US$5,000 towards helping more than 50 of about 400 cats rescued by animal lovers from a filthy warehouse at a wholesale market in the Chinese city of Tianjin in February 2007. The grant ensures the cats, which were destined to be sold for their meat and fur, will now have the care and medical attention they so desperately need and deserve.
The grant was made available through our “Friends….or Food?” programme after a meeting with the cats’ guardian, animal welfare activist Zhang Dan of Beijing. Ms Zhang will use the money to vaccinate, spay and neuter the cats and to pay for emergency healthcare for those that are in very poor condition. She will also provide the cats with temporary shelter while permanent homes are found for them. Ms Zhang will provide Animals Asia with detailed reports describing how these funds are being spent, together with photos so that supporters across the world can be informed about the progress of the rescue.
We are thrilled to be able to help these poor creatures that won the hearts of people around the world when news of the rescue broke. The cats were freed from the warehouse in the port city of Tianjin, near Beijing, by a group of local people who had learned that the animals were trapped inside in appalling conditions.
The cats were crammed into tiny wire cages, about 10cm high, with as many as 30 squashed into each cage. The rescuers feared that many of the cats were pets stolen from local families and so, after breaking into the building and confronting local officials, they took the cats to safety in Beijing.
While the raid on the warehouse was technically illegal, the Tianjin police, understanding why the animal lovers were forced to act, allowed the cats to be taken. And under pressure from the local people and after discussions with the police, the cat dealer allowed them to be taken to Beijing. Several animal welfare groups and hospitals are now taking care of the remainder of the cats. Within weeks of the rescue, more than 100 had been adopted by caring people in the community.
Thank heavens for kind and selfless people like Zhang Dan in Beijing and the hundreds of people around the globe who have sent donations and messages of support. This is where a cry for help has been answered and hopefully now over 50 miserable cats that have suffered so much can look forward to loving, happy homes for the rest of their lives.
Male cats wait to be neutered.
Just a quick snip and it's all over.
The Tianjin cats are making the most of their new lives.