Animal rescuer Wen Junhong began rescuing dogs about 20 years ago, the first of which came from the streets of Chongqing in southwest China.
And now, Wen shares her house with more than 1,300 dogs, and the numbers keep coming up.
After rescuing the first dog, the Pekinese that she named Wenjing, which means “gentle and calm” in Chinese, she then could not stop rescuing them.
The 68-year-old woman said she’s worried that the dogs will have to face the dangers of being strays, and there’s the dog meat trade going around too.
“It’s important to look after these dogs,” she said.
“Each of us should respect life, and the Earth is not only for humans but for all animals,” Wen added.
Under the leadership of Communist China’s founder Chairman Mao, dog ownership had been banned and was considered a ‘bourgeois pastime’.
After that, the ownership skyrocketed and their views on animals changed, but they still don’t have the proper welfare law for the animals, and strays are still growing rapidly.
The strays aren’t sterilized and the animal rescue centers are underfunded and burdened with more animals – it’s getting out of hand.
The strays and abandoned pets are often left in Wen’s front yard.
It’s not just dogs that this woman lives with, but along with 100 cats, four horses, and a few rabbits and birds.
“Some people say I’m a psychopath,” she admits.
Getting up at 4 am, she has to get rid of the overnight dog waste by burning them in the back yard, then cooking around 500kg of rice, meat, and vegetables for the animals.
A lot of the dogs run free around the building, and every room in her two-story house is filled with cages.
Wen has to keep on moving her houses because she gets complaints from the neighbors, forced to loan money, and using every dime she has to make everything work.
Wen also receives donations from social media, the people calling her “Chongqing Auntie Wen”.
Though, she had also received backlash for the living conditions of the animals there, one critic saying: “Living in such a small cage is no better than being a stray dog.”
Wen has six staff who also live with her. One of them, Yang Yiqun, is covered with scars and scratches from taking care of so many dogs.
“I like the dogs even if they bite me,” says the stoic Sichuan local who has worked with Wen for five years.
“She is under too much pressure to handle it alone”.
Wen admits that it’s very hard taking care of all these animals, but her drive and love for them is bigger than anything.
The animals keep coming, and less space will be available for them.
Source: Bangkok Post