Families around the country are getting ready for the traditional feasts known as weiya (尾牙) that will ring in the Year of the Horse in just a few days in ethnic Chinese communities around the world.
One nonprofit organization has decided that this year, the celebration should be more inclusive, and in that spirit plans to give homeless animals across Taiwan a reason to celebrate along with their human counterparts.
Animal Rescue Team Taiwan, which raises funds for stray dogs and cats, on Monday announced that it is to donate 40,000kg of pet food to 47 private shelters nationwide to help them host weiyas for the 12,600 animals that they house.
The group said it has initiated an Internet campaign to raise the NT$1.5 million (US$50,000) needed to buy the food that will enable the often cash-strapped shelters to give the strays a good year-end feast.
The group’s Web site says that, as of Monday night, it has donated 39,195kg of food worth more than NT$1.48 million to needy shelters this month, but was still hoping to raise more money to help the animals welcome the Lunar New Year and beyond.
Animal Rescue Team Taiwan is a non-profit group founded in 1995 by Joseph Nee (倪兆成), a retired teacher who has devoted himself to protecting and rescuing animals in Taiwan for more than 17 years and is now the team’s leader.
With the help and support of the public, the group aims to put an end to the suffering and misery of the nation’s poor, helpless animals.