As the director-general of Greater Tainan’s Stray Animal Shelter Association, Kuo Shun-hsiung (郭順雄) may be the biggest dog owner in the nation, with more than 400 dogs registered under his name.
Kuo and the association have over the years been promoting trap-neuter-release (TNR) as an alternative to euthanasia for dealing with strays. However, Kuo has gone a step further by offering to have the animals — after they are neutered and implanted with microchips — registered under his name and being held accountable for them after they are released.
Some animal rights groups such as Kuo’s believe that TNR is more humane than euthanasia, which is often the fate of many strays that are brought into the local dog pound and are not adopted by individuals.
However, management of the pets after they are neutered and released has become another problem, with government agencies pointing fingers at each other as to who should take responsibility.
This has prompted opponents of animal rights activists to argue that people who feed the released animals are only contributing to making the city environment less than pristine, Kuo said.
Kuo urged the government to do more to regulate animal breeding and distribution, to ease the burden of volunteer animal lovers.
Kuo said he enjoys volunteer work and continues to find inspiration and strength in the knowledge that he is not alone in this endeavor.
He added that family and friends who had initially opposed his work have now become his spiritual support.