The Chinese Yuelin Festival, where thousands of dogs and cats are either plucked from the street or stolen from sleeping households to be butchered and sold as meat in marketplaces has raised much outrage on social media, sparking shared photos, videos, and petitions. Even personalities such as Ricky Gervais have spoken out against the festival, and demanded it be put to a grinding halt.
One woman traveled 1,500 miles alone to Yulin, Guangxi province, facing the dog and cat meat traders, and paid $1,100 out of her own savings to save 100 dogs from the slaughter.
Yang Xiaoyun, 65, is a retired school teacher who runs a shelter home called “Common Home For All” (共同家园). The run-down dog yard is home to hundred of dogs Yang has rescued from life-threatening situations. It may not look like much, but it is a home where the dogs are tenderly cared for and loved. “Common home” now houses 200 cats and 1000 dogs,and the numbers continue to grow as days pass. Her dedication to these foster dogs has led her to relocate twice to accept more rescues, and she has sold two her properties to keep this project going.
She gets up at 5am to start her day, and retires at 10pm. She eats only one meal a day while tending to the dogs and cats, tirelessly making steamed corn bread for them, as this is all she can afford.
Ms. Yang sees to it that the ailing or disabled members of her large four-legged family are given the health care they need. Sometimes she manages to sneak in a treat or two for the dogs on weekends.
Ms. Yang’s own son was at first rather reticent about her effort, worrying about how much she was sacrificing to give all these cats and dogs a safe haven. However, he soon saw the importance of life’s work, and now he and his wife are among her strongest supporters.
Ms. Yang will squeeze out the last penny of her savings to keep these pups and cats well and hale, but she cannot do it alone. She also relies on volunteers and generous hearts to buoy “Common Home” up and keep it going. Here are some ways you can help Ms. Yang.
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