When temperatures hit -10˚C, Animals Asia stepped in to help 900 dogs

27 January 2016

It was going to be a potentially deadly winter for the 900 dogs at the Taishan dog shelter in China – until Animals Asia’s Cat and Dog Welfare Team stepped in.

When the shelter moved to their new mountaintop location last year, most of their dogs were northern breeds – with thick, long fur, that were able to cope with such winters. But as more and more dogs were moved to the shelter – puppies, mothers and weaker rescue dogs – there were real fears they wouldn’t survive the coming winter.

The shelter contacted Animals Asia – and the China Cat and Dog Welfare Team got to work, protecting these dogs from cold temperatures not seen for decades.

Through November and December, the Cat and Dog Welfare Team supervised the building of winter-ready enclosures, which were separated into different areas so that dogs with different needs could be helped. A total of 100 large cushions were purchased, to help the weaker dogs find a warm place to curl up. 10 large dog houses were built, and the pre-existing dog houses were winterised to make sure all the shelter’s dogs could survive the winter in comfort.

Animals Asia Cat and Dog Welfare Manager Carrot Chen said:

“We first visited the shelter in mid-November. Most of the dogs weren’t in bad shape. However, under the existing conditions, those who lived in the houses most exposed to the wind were shaking. Mother dogs and their babies were covered in quilts, shaking as well. The situation – like the weather – was obviously going to get worse before it got better.

“We immediately started working with the shelter on their problems. We weather-proofed the existing dog houses, and built warmer houses for the most vulnerable dogs there. We also paved over some muddy ground to make the shelters more livable.

“Resources are always tight and we – just like those who run the shelter – did everything we could. For a number of these dogs it was most likely the difference between life and death.”

Animals Asia’s Cat and Dog Welfare Team continue to work at all levels for better lives for companion animals and strays. High numbers of cats and dogs in China are abandoned and left to subsist on the streets, with many dying due to illness or accidents – and, if there are disease outbreaks, culls are also a possibility. Stray dogs and cats are also snatched from the streets, and pets are stolen and taken to horrific meat markets.

For more information on the work Animals Asia does in this area go here: https://www.animalsasia.org/intl/our-work/cat-and-dog-welfare