Real life heroes: China’s emerging animal welfare advocates saving cat and dog lives

02 July 2019

China’s compassionate animal lovers are the single most vital force helping cats and dogs in the country, but they desperately need support.

China is full of compassionate animal lovers who abhor cruelty and the dog meat trade. But animal welfare is a relatively new concept and they need our help to grow.

That’s why Animals Asia is fostering a nationwide animal welfare movement in China. Over the past 13 years, we have provided support to over 150 animal welfare charities - around 60% of the country’s total.

With our funding, training and support these real life heroes have gone on to set up shelters, raise awareness of dog meat cruelty, encourage adoption and spread principles of compassion for all species far and wide.

The result? Animals are treated more humanely every day, all over the country. We spoke to two animal lovers who were so inspired to care for dogs in crisis that they welcomed them into their homes and lives.

Abandoned, sick, dying…but now four-legged Mango has it all

By Huang Xiuping

“Mango coming into my life feels like destiny. In June, 2015, I came out of my home to see a dog lying beside the garbage dump, wearing a leash.

“I thought this dog must have an owner and so I thought I would try to reunite her with her family. But when I approached, the dog just lay there and did not want to move.

“Unwilling to give up, I asked people around the community but no one knew the dog. Then I brought her to an animal hospital nearby and named her Mango.

“The vets diagnosed Mango with canine distemper and advised that she may not survive. But still I did not give up on her, and most importantly, Mango did not give up either.

“After weeks of treatment and suffering, lucky little Mango grew stronger and the vet said only a stable home and good care could ensure Mango’s recovery. I didn’t hesitate. I knew then that Mango was coming home with me, forever.

“Mango likes eating. It doesn’t matter to her what she eats, whatever I am eating, she widens her big eyes that say, ‘why not give me some?’

“She’s very docile and likes to share her happiness and kindness with everyone, even strangers in the street.

“Adopting Mango gave her a new home, but it also gave me a new life and I’m delighted. Already we’ve overcome many difficulties together and have a very happy future ahead.

“Now I have to consider Mango and put her first in every aspect of my life. My job needs to have fixed holidays so that I can stay at home with Mango, the apartment I rent must allow me to keep animals and my boyfriend needs to be a dog lover. With Mango by my side, I feel happier and more open-minded than before. 

“I am so sorry for the dogs who are killed for the dog meat trade, and I think every dog owner needs to be aware to protect their cats and dogs. Don’t give the bad guys any chance to eat them.

“If I ever get another dog I will definitely adopt and I encourage everyone I know to do the same. We can make a real difference and enrich our lives.”

Mango living a happy life 3

Death seemed certain until a community came together

By Li Huang

“During the cold winter of 2017, a dog was found in the street in Chengdu with multiple fractures on his head and blood pouring into his broken eyes. Kind strangers took him to the local vet who, despite the very small chance of survival, agreed to do his best to save him. The vet could see in his eyes that he hadn’t given up and was desperate to survive.

“A plea went out on the internet for the surgical bills and before long, kindhearted people from all over were sending gifts to help the little dog they didn’t know.

“Thanks to them, the dog underwent a craniotomy – when part of the bone around the brain is removed – and, miraculously, he survived.

“As this dog was mixed breed with an enormous scar on his head, he was a difficult adoption case and spent months in the vet clinic unwanted.

“But when I saw pictures and heard his story, I cried my tissues into pulp. I knew that I could provide him with the loving and warm forever home he deserved and went straight to the vet clinic to adopt him.

“I called him Xiao Huang, which means Little Yellow.  

“Xiao Huang was very timid when he first came to my home. He would shake when anyone got close to him and he bit people when they tried to touch him.

“But time is a healer and now Xiao Huang’s personality has completely changed. He’s very friendly with people and likes playing ball with me. He loves the sunshine on his back and rolling in the long grass.

“I have a cat too, called Hulubao, and I was worried at first that they could not get along, but I was completely wrong and they are good friends now.

“Since adopting Xiao Huang, life has changed completely. I don’t feel lonely anymore. Instead, my life is full of sunshine! What surprised me most is that I exercise a lot more than before. In the past I would stay at home most of the time except when I went to work, but now I have to walk Xiao Huang twice a day in the morning and evening. I am healthier than ever before. 

“We are living a happy life and I am glad that Xiao Huang is getting closer to people. Happiness is a magical thing that both Xiao Huang and I feel. I am happy because of Xiao Huang’s companionship and Xiao Huang is happy because of my love and care.

“My family, my friends and I will never eat cat or dog meat and I tell others about the cruelty of the trade so that they won’t be encouraged to take part either.

“My other message to my friends, of course, is that they too should adopt an animal in need. I do this all the time and at every opportunity.”

Xiaohuang living a happy life

Animals Asia is at the heart of national movement against dog meat cruelty in China, having provided support to over 150 animal welfare charities, around 60% of the country’s total.

You too can help end the dog meat trade in China by standing shoulder to shoulder with the brave Chinese activists on the frontlines, fighting the dog and cat meat trade, every single day.

Together we can end this cruelty. Sign the pledge.