China summer camp - Volunteers update animal welfare knowledge

09 July 2012

In order to thank our Dr Dog guardians and volunteers for their continued contributions to Animals Asia’s ever-growing Cat and Dog Welfare programmes in China, we recently organised the first “Volunteer Summer Camp” in June 2012.

Forty-six of our volunteers and their family members joined the events, including animal welfare presentations, a visit to the Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Chengdu and a field trip to the Hong Kong SPCA. The camp was divided into two sessions – one for northwest China’s Chengdu city and the other for south China’s Guangzhou and Shenzhen cities.

The animal welfare presentations were given by five experts from the following organizations: Animals Asia Foundation, Compassion in World Farming, Design Against Fur and Greenbeagle.

Topics included:

Animal needs
Factory farming
Fur trade
Shark finning
Responsible pet ownership

The open presentation drew over 300 attendees from local animal welfare groups, university students and the general public.

Animal welfare presentation by Dave Neale, Animals Asia Foundation.

In Chengdu, volunteers visited the Moon Bear Rescue Center and learned to make special enrichment food items for the rescued bears. For most of the participants, it was their first time seeing these large moon bears and everybody found their visit to the small onsite museum – with its displays of cages and metal jackets, photos of bears on farms and other disturbing images showing the truth behind the bear bile farming industry – to be enlightening, though also quite shocking.

Chengdu volunteers group photo opportunity on site at the Moon Bear Rescue Centre. (left)

Preparing enrichment food for distribution in the bears' enclosures. (right)

The Guangzhou and Shenzhen camp visited the Hong Kong SPCA to learn about their work and visit their rescue centre. With clean rooms, comfortable living areas and veterinary support, all the animals waiting for a home gave a warm welcome to their visitors.

South China volunteers visiting the Hong Kong SPCA.

“We still have a lot to learn, have a lot to do and have a long way to go, but it gives me hope.”
Participant, China Volunteer Summer Camp

It was a very successful first camp, giving our volunteers and dog guardians lots of new information and ideas to augment their work in their local communities.