Shanghai animal shelter seeks expat volunteers and fosterers for abandoned pets

Published:  15 Jun at 6 PM
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Chinese locals and expats in Shanghai are working together to save abandoned pets.

People for Pets was started in 2015 by Samantha and Ann, two expat ladies distressed by the number of abandoned pets in the giant city. Three years in, it’s a group of experienced rescuers bridging the gap between animal protection and animal welfare in Shanghai. Every dog and cat saved has either been born on the streets or abused and abandoned by their former owners, and is treated by vets for both physical and mental problems before settling down in a foster home whilst awaiting adoption.

Occasionally, and especially in the case of large dogs which are forbidden in the city or those needing special care, overseas adoptions will be arranged. The pet rescue group also holds regular adoption events which include reunions with adopted dogs and their owners. Puppies and kittens find loving new homes first although older pets who’ve been traumatised by events in their former lives may take months or years to recover enough to be successfully rehomed. Love is the best medicine, but cats in particular need to be taught how to respond.

Three years ago, one volunteer agreed to foster a female dog for just two weeks, but within that time he and his wife had fallen in love with her and kept her. She’s now able to understand instructions in French and Chinese and she’s going with her ‘parents’ to Europe. Along with the 14 permanent members, over half of People for Pets’ volunteers and supporters are expats, with around 40 per cent locals. All are devoted to the quality of life they give to the strays and abandoned pets they’ve rescued and rehomed.

To date, over 100 strays have been saved, and around 70 per cent have found new, loving homes. ‘Adopt, not Shop’ is People for Pets’ mantra in the hope that people will think twice before buying a puppy or kitten and opt for adoption instead.
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