Sun, May 20, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Help on the way for stray dogs

APPEAL A 50-year-old high school teacher who asked for financial help from Hon Hai president Terry Gou may have started something that could save many a canine life

STAFF WRITER

An English teacher who has devoted her life to saving stray dogs managed to catch the attention of the richest man in Taiwan, a local press report said.

Chia Hung-chiu (賈鴻秋), 50, on Wednesday knelt at the doorsteps of Hon Hai Precision Industrial Co (鴻海科技) to gain the attention of company president Terry Gou (郭台銘).

Chia wanted his financial support in order to build more shelters for stray dogs and said she would work as a cleaner at Hon Hai in return, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported yesterday.

Gou was in Beijing at the time, it said.

"I have given up hope that the government will do the right thing on this issue," Chia was quoted as saying in the report.

"Now I put my hope in industry leaders," she said.

The report said that Chia started taking in strays 20 years ago and is at present taking care of 150 animals.

She spends a large part of her NT$50,000 monthly salary feeding and caring for them, keep all of them in a rented two-storey house in Tamsui (淡水).

"Right now, the Sindian shelter kills 160 dogs a month. These are awful numbers," she said.

Soon after she arrived at the company, security guards called the police to get rid of her.

Media reports of her appeal reached Gou in Beijing, who decided to act on her plea, the paper said.

The report said that Gou was moved by Chia's appeal and was displeased by the manner in which she was treated by the Hon Hai security guards.

The report said that Gou called Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) on Thursday, asking that the county stop euthanizing strays and promising to underwrite the cost of building and running more shelters.

After discussing the matter with Agriculture Bureau officials, Chou agreed to cease euthanizing dogs in all county shelters and to set up new shelters funded by Hon Hai-affiliated charities, the report said.

The following day, Hon Hai employees visited Chia at Muzha Vocational High School, where she teaches English.

Chia will be involved in the planning of the proposed Taipei County stray dog shelter, the report added.

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