A 53-year-old woman named Wen Li has opened up a rescue shelter in Pingliang city in Gansu province which has become a home for 220 stray dogs since 2011.
Determined to do a good deed for man’s best friend, Wen decided to quit her job as a middle school teacher and transform a scruffy farm house into a loving home for strays. The kind-hearted lady treats her dogs like “little dolls” and calls herself their “grandma” — taking care of them like they were her own grandkids.
In order to provide all those pooches with a warm shelter, Wen ended up spending her entire life savings, renting and sprucing up the farm house, CCTV News reports. Over the past five years, she has welcomed a total of 220 strays, brought in by herself or by other animal lovers. However, the more dogs she houses, the more expenses that she has to cover.
Wen confessed that she was under a lot of pressure, shouldering a huge burden running the dog shelter. “The dogs eat two meals every day. Each meal includes 80 biscuits, 7.5 kg of dog food and 2.5 kg of beef livers, costing a few hundred yuan per day, which becomes a whopping 100,000 yuan each year,” she said. However, thanks to the money she makes at her part-time job and some generous donations from charitable people, she has been able to keep the shelter going.
Sadly, being with her dogs all day has driven most of her relatives away, leaving only her daughter by her side, Toutiao reports. To make things worse, she has been forced to take out a loan from the bank and borrow 100,000 yuan from her relatives to keep the place going.
When facing a personal financial crisis last year, she even sold an apartment that was supposed to be part of her daughter’s dowry. Still, her daughter has always been supportive of her mom’s mission, even agreeing to help her sell the apartment, but other relatives aren’t quite so understanding.
“My relatives broke off all relations with me. Honestly it isn’t a bad thing because now I have more spare time to care for my dogs,” Wen said, ever the optimist.
When asked why she quit her job to care for stray dogs, Wen replied that she simply couldn’t leave those poor dogs behind and looking after them is a responsibility that she takes very seriously. “Any person with a conscience would do the same thing! Can you imagine what would happen to the city if we abandoned all those dogs?” she said.
Because of its small size, the rescue shelter can only hold 220 dogs at one time. Wen has to handle all the daily chores on her own, cleaning the shelter, feeding the dogs and giving them injections. She has attempted to hire people to help her part-time, but they have all left after a week, whining about low pay and poor conditions.
While China is infamous for its annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival, where an estimated 10,000 dogs are slaughtered and served as food, it is also home to many selfless dog lovers who have devoted their lives to rescuing strays from the slaughterhouse. One father and daughter duo from Hebei have provided a loving home for over 300 dogs in the last 13 years:
And this former millionaire from Changchun has gone broke saving strays:
By Katie Ngai
[Images via CCTV News]