Tue, Apr 02, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Rescued stray dog sent to new home in Canada

‘BIG SISTER’ CARES:Alice Yang rescued Mei and took care of the dog for three years before sending her to Canada with an amulet and a letter conveying her love

Staff writer, with CNA

Alice Yang poses in an undated photograph with Mei, a four-year-old mixed-breed dog she rescued three years ago, before the Animal Rescue Team Taiwan sent the dog to Vancouver, Canada, through an international adoption program last month.

Photo courtesy of The Animal Rescue Team Taiwan

A letter kept in an amulet around a stray dog’s neck testifies to the bond between a dog who is awaiting an adoptive family in Canada and the woman who saved it from the street, an animal rescue group said over the weekend.

The Animal Rescue Team Taiwan (ARTT) said the four-year-old black mixed-breed, named Mei, was sent to Vancouver, Canada, on March 20 through an international adoption program.

It took several days before Mei would allow Cherry Latour, a volunteer with Vancouver’s Dogway Dog Rescue Society (DDRS), to approach her, but once Latour got close enough, she found the letter hidden in the amulet attached to the dog’s collar.

Along with the letter was a picture of Mei and a Taiwanese woman and a handwritten note in Chinese signed by “big sister” that read: “I will never forget the time I spent with you and I hope you won’t either. Be happy and joyful. And I hope we can meet again some day.”

Touched by the letter, the DDRS posted it on its Facebook page, calling it “a testament of what love is.”

Latour contacted the ARTT by e-mail on Thursday last week in hopes of finding the woman.

“We have taken Mei into our hearts as a sacred trust,” Latour wrote in the e-mail. “She is so loved here and in Taiwan. We want her ‘Big Sister’ to know that she will be so cherished and cared for.”

A search by the ARTT found the woman, identified as Taoyuan County resident Alice Yang (楊士儀), who rescued Mei off the street in the rain three years ago and took care of Mei until she had to give the dog up.

Yang told the ARTT that she tried to find a new home for Mei in Taiwan during the three years they spent together. Yang said she tried several private animal shelters, animal hospitals and foster homes, but Mei was simply not able to adapt.

“Her right ear was even injured after being attacked by other dogs at one of the local shelters,” Yang said. “That’s when I asked the ARTT for help in finding her a good home, and I knew for sure that her life would be much better in Canada.”

Recalling the time before Mei was sent to Canada, Yang said: “I couldn’t help but feel sad at our impending separation, so I decided to write the letter to wish her well.”

“I packed the letter neatly inside the amulet, which I had blessed at a nearby temple the day before her flight, and tied it around her neck right before we said goodbye at the airport,” Yang said.

DDRS later made a promise to Yang on its Facebook page: “We will keep her safe ... We will love her ... Big Sister, that is our solemn vow!”

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