Man Rescues 2,000 Dogs in China
One man's love for canines helped saved thousands of dogs from getting killed, though he had to give up a few things along the way.
In 2012, Wang Yan's beloved dog went missing in his hometown in China, the publication the Dodo noted. Unlike the U.S., China has a different policy for unwanted dogs - they get killed at a slaughterhouse. Fearful that his dog was about to face a similar fate, Yan frantically went searching in hopes of finding the canine.
"I went looking everywhere, but all to no avail," Yan remembers, reported The Shanghaiist. "Finally someone let me go into the slaughterhouse to try my luck there."
A twist of fate
Yan did not find his dog at the slaughterhouse, and unfortunately never did. But when Yan visited the slaughterhouse, he was taken aback by the sight of so many dogs about to face their fate, living in deplorable conditions. While these dogs were strays, Yan did not believe they needed to be treated this way. So, instead of finding his dog, Yan found several new dogs, all of whom he decided to rescue from the slaughterhouse.
Yet taking in this many dogs meant Yan needed to give up a few things, most notably his job and financial success. In 2012, Yan had a net worth several million yuan. Using the money he had, Yan decided to buy the slaughterhouse and convert it into a dog shelter. In the process, he rescued 2,000 dogs who were about to be killed. From there, Yan expanded the building to create an even bigger and better shelter that could act as a temporary home for unwanted dogs in the area.
Naturally, Yan spent a lot of money helping these dogs have a better life. He even ended up going into debt. However, Yan does not regret his efforts, but is happy he got to change the lives of so many innocent dogs.
Changing the norm
Currently China has 130 million dogs, according to CNN. Of that number, 27 million are pets that live in urban cities. Yet China is known for something else - its dog meat industry. Dogs who are brought to slaughterhouses are often used as food for local restaurants and even food festivals. Naturally, there has been a lot of outrage nationally as well as throughout the world, arguing against this inhumane practice. Even Chinese journalists and activists have gotten in on the debate. Many Chinese citizens are beginning to view dogs as friends, not as food. This pushback has caused several festivals in China to end and even caused well-known restaurants to shut down.
Slaughterhouses have been decreasing in number as well. Just five years ago, there were several slaughterhouses in suburban neighborhoods just outside of Beijing. Now, those numbers have waned, and the houses have disappeared. Thanks to kind and passionate people like Yan dogs in China have a chance a brighter future.