A benefit concert staged by a group of veterinarians is set to take place tonight in Greater Taichung as part of an effort to launch an animal welfare organization.
Hideki Matsumoto, the host of a popular Japanese TV pet show, is to fly in from Japan especially for tonight’s event, in which he is scheduled to showcase his singing talents and to join the violin concerto performed by chief executive of the National Veterinary Hospital, Chen Dao-jie (陳道杰), among others, organizers said.
In light of a recent string of reported cases of animal abuse, the fundraising event aims to raise cash for the new organization, which is named Asia Animal Welfare Association in Taiwan (AAWA), as well as to build a veterinary museum for children, organizers said.
The Veterinary Museum for Children — which is scheduled for construction to begin at the end of this year — is to be located next to Greater Taichung’s CMP Block Museum of the Arts, event organizers added.
Chen said the museum will aim to raise public awareness, educating youngsters on how to keep pets and how to interact with animals through active participation and hands-on courses.
Taking a leading role in establishing the new organization, Chen added that the museum will include classrooms in which courses can be taught on caring for animals as well as staging exhibitions which can be toured nationwide.
“We see that it’s important to teach children to respect and protect animals and to show that raising pets is a long-term responsibility. We want to let kids know that even the animals that people eat — such as cattle, pigs and sheep — have rights too,” he said.
The Veterinary Museum for Children is inspired by the Banfield Pet Hospital in the US, which operates a network of 900 veterinary care clinics in the US, Chen said.
“The museum will host a vet hospital simulation where children can take on play-acting roles as veterinarians, nurses and medical workers. It will also have with separate units for wound treatment, examination, operations and patient bed units,” he said. “We want to teach kids how to take care of pets and cultivate a better understanding of, and respect for animals.”
Tickets for the concert can be purchased by checking the AAWA Web site and local veterinary hospitals. The event will be held at the Concert Hall at Tunghai University in Greater Taichung.