Sun, Mar 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Shelter staff urge public to adopt 53 rescued dogs

CONSUMED BY FEAR:The animals were among more than 200 saved from dire conditions and very few people have attended the adoption drive for them

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Fifty-three abused dogs rescued from a site in New Taipei City are available for adoption at the city government-run animal shelter in Banciao District (板橋) today. Shelter staff are calling on the public to adopt the animals to help them recover from fear.

In late January, the Taiwan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received an anonymous report with a video that revealed a private animal shelter in the city’s Tamsui District (淡水) where more than 200 dogs and cats were being kept in extremely dire conditions.

The dogs were being kept in a forested area in the mountains by a woman called Chen Hsi-hung (陳喜紅), who had received many donations from the public, but had failed to take care of the animals, society executive director Connie Chiang (姜怡如) said yesterday.

About 30 dogs were found dead at the site, many being consumed by maggots, while one dead dog was barely recognizable, she said, recalling her visit to the site with the city government’s Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office on Feb. 6.

The shelter sent 38 dogs needing emergency medical treatment to veterinary hospitals and settled the others at the city government’s animal shelters, office Director-General Chen Yuan-chuan (陳淵泉) said yesterday.

Chen Hsi-hung was sent to the New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on suspicion of violating many articles of the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法), he added.

Although the dogs are being tended to, most of them appear to be consumed by fear, shelter staff said.

The society’s volunteers arranged an adoption drive for the rescued dogs at the city’s public shelter in Banciao, which started yesterday and continues from 10am to 4pm today, she said, adding that, despite promoting the drive on the Internet, very few people came to adopt dogs yesterday, partly because mixed-breed dogs are less favored.

The city’s great number of stray animals is “a decades-old problem,” and it is essential to prevent their numbers from growing further, Chen Yuan-chuan said.

Since the office implemented the “trap, neuter, vaccinate and release” policy, the number of stray dogs in the city has been reduced from more than 20,000 in 2015 to 15,000 last year, he added.

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