In China, the life of stray dogs is extremely difficult. Dying a lonely death unattended is probably one of the best endings they can get. The vast majority finish in dog-eaters’ dishes, while others are poisoned, road killed, or abused to death by ill-minded people.
Local governments have different tariffs on dog “passport” (it is nothing like the EU pet passport because it does not state any obligations that the government should adhere, nor does it guarantee any pet welfare). To get such a passport would cost RMB 1,000 in Beijing for the first year followed by RMB 500 per annum, RMB 500 per annum in Shanghai, and RMB 300 per annum in Shenzhen. The rabies vaccination and ID chip are NOT included (www.people.com.cn, 2013). One can estimate how much the government can yield from it, yet no data has been published. But it is evident that the money has never been invested on improving animal welfare in China.
Obstructed by government dereliction and public ignorance towards dogs, a few NGOs have been striving to offer as much protection as possible to stray dogs and cats by establishing self-funded shelters in suburban areas, like the Shenzhen Stray Dog Shelter (www.99dog.org) and the Shenzhen Futian Dog Rescue Center. The two organizations both have shelters located in Makan Valley, Xili, Nanshan District in Shenzhen (22.6N, 113.9E).
On July 9, 2013, the Nanshan Environmental Protection Office stated that the two shelters MUST BE DEMOLISHED as quickly as possible “according to laws” (People'sDaily, 2013), and the 300 dogs currently in shelter will be subject to “bio-safety disposal”. The Environmental Protection Office issued ungrounded accuse that the shelters are too close to the Xili Reservoir, and animal wastes can contaminate the water. It is ironic that while the shelter volunteers endeavor to comply with stringent hygiene standards, factories are running unlicensed, leaving hazardous chemicals such as sulfuric acid and hydrofluoric acid barrels unattended. It is also worth noticing that while the Environmental Protection Office pushes the dog shelters out of their domain, noisy construction work goes on non-stop day and night in the same district with official permit.
The demolition enforcement is disastrous for both shelters, as one finished its second-phase dog houses last month, and the other just survived through dreadful funding problem. They asked if the Shenzhen government could offer a hand if they really had to move – the answer was simply, NO.
It should be noted that there are government-initiated animal shelters in other cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing. Although most animals still face “bio-safety disposal” if unadopted within 7 days, the local governments are, for better or worse, dispensing money on urban stray animals.
It should also be noted that the city of Shenzhen achieved a GDP of RMB 1295 billion (USD 211.5 billion), ranking No.4 among cities in China. The recorded public revenue of Shenzhen government was RMB 450 billion (USD 73.5 billion) in 2012 (XinhuaNet, 2013).
We understand that things are running in different manners in China like on the dark side of the moon. There is a lot to wish for in this country such as general election and freedom of speech. But at this time being, we only hold one tiny hope THAT THE SHENZHEN GOVERNMENT COULD STOP FORCED DEMOLITION OF THE TWO SMALL DOG SHELTERS.
Your support means a lot to the dogs in the two shelters in Shenzhen, and to all the stray animals struggling to survive in China.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi.
People'sDaily, 2013. Dog shelters in Shenzhen will be demolished according to law. Available at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/local/2013-07/09/c_116454719.htm
www.people.com.cn, 2013. A passport for dog, how dear is that?.
Available at: http://society.people.com.cn/n/2013/0702/c1008-22049157.html
XinhuaNet, 2013. Shenzhen's Public Revenue Exceeded 450 Billion in 2012.
Available at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2013-01/01/c_114222855.htm