Despite its members’ enthusiasm, the club has struggled financially because of the large number of animals it shelters and its limited source of income.
It is entirely dependent on donations from volunteers and netizens, as well as on the monthly allowance of NT$10,000 that Hsiao Ka receives from her husband.
“Every month, we need to pay NT$80,000 rent for the shelter and spend NT$60,000 on feeding the animals,” Hsiao Ka said, adding that she has also racked up about NT$70,000 in unpaid medical bills at a local veterinary hospital.
Despite the challenges, Hsiao Ka has no regrets and says she has been lobbying for a “household pet tax” to tackle the stray animal problem at its source.
Unscrupulous breeding farms have caused a surplus of companion animals, resulting in a vicious price war that has in turn negatively impacted young people’s perception of pets, Hsiao Ka said.
“Because household pets have become more affordable, young people tend to forget about the duty of care and social responsibilities attached with the animals they bring home,” she said.
“That is why I urge the government to implement a household pet tax system which requires breeding farms and pet sellers to pay a 5 percent pet tax on sales of pets,” she said.