Wed, Oct 10, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Tycoon pledges more for stray dogs

SOFT SPOT Terry Gou, who heads a multibillion dollar computer chip and software empire, has promised NT$200 million more to help Taipei's unwanted animals


Taiwanese tycoon Terry Gou (郭台銘) yesterday pledged another NT$200 million (US$6 million) to National Taiwan University's (NTU) stray dog rescue project, saying the "cute animals" and the nation's animal lovers were the biggest beneficiaries of the charitable act.

Gou, who heads a multibillion dollar computer chip and software empire, said he was motivated to help with the country's stray dog rescue effort when a teacher named Chia Hung-chiu (賈鴻秋) knelt in front his office building for hours of in May, asking people to help stop animal shelters from killing the unadopted animals.


"I was on the airplane when I heard the news. I immediately called Taipei County Magistrate Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) and said I wanted the county to stop killing stray dogs," Gou recalled, adding he later felt discouraged when he realized the stray animal problem was a lot more complicated than simply implementing a no-kill policy.

Through his Younglin Foundation (永齡基金會), Gou formed a working alliance between NTU and the Taipei County Government.

NTU President Lee Si-chen (李嗣涔) estimated the project, dubbed "Care for Lives, Protect Animals," will be completed in three years. During this time, the university hopes to eradicate the country's stray animal problem by working closely with international experts who are familiar with various kinds of tactics.


Chou said there are 10,000 new stray animals in Taipei County alone every year and 70,000 countrywide. The cost of the caretaking fee for each animal is roughly NT$30,000. According to that calculation, the government will have to budget NT$2.1 billion (US$64 million) each year to keep strays alive in shelters.

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