Shanghaiist is an animal lover who advocates any kind of animal aid activity in China. Which is why we were overjoyed to hear the news of a new stray animal shelter — one of the city’s biggest — in Minhang District. The shelter offers a host of services: people can contact the centre to adopt stray dogs and cats or abandoned pets, there will be weekend adoption days, medical treatment will be administered to the stray animals, and so on.
While this is all commendable, we’re a fraction worried about the effectiveness of some of these policies. In fact, it came as no surprise to hear that the animal rescue centre is now refusing to take stray animals (news in Chinese) starting January 1 — just three weeks after the opening.
The 200 square-metre facility has already taken in more than 60 animals, with 70% of them coming directly from domestic pets left by owners. “We can’t operate appropriately now because people just keep dumping their own pets here,” said Zhou Min, one of the founders of the centre. “We have to call off the service for a while since we have more animals arriving than those getting adopted out.”
It’s surely a good thing that there is a large shelter for homeless animals in a city of 5 million stray cats, but making an announcement to take any animals in for whatever reason, without imposing guidelines and conditions, is not the way to run a successful pet shelter in the long run.