“Why rescue dogs from another country?” is a question we get asked often. While there are millions of American dogs dying in shelters every year, these dogs in Taiwan have no hope. Those who are saving the lives of these innocent dogs from the streets and shelters of Taiwan are few and far between, and that’s why we went to meet these wonderful rescuers, and see for ourselves what the dogs have to go through to find a new life here in America. We have been helping to save dogs from Taiwan since 2005, because they have no hope, and in 2009 we flew over to Taiwan to meet these hard working individuals and brought 6 dogs back with us.
Many people in Taiwan feel that it is better to “live in suffering than to die”. Taiwan has no laws about breeding and selling dogs, or the number of dogs that one individual can have. There are many pet stores and every one of them sells live animals, therefore contributing to the pet over population in Taiwan. There are organizations in Taiwan who do TNR (trap neuter release) work, where they will trap or dart an animal and then spay or neuter them and turn them back out on the streets. These groups are trying their best to decrease the number of homeless animals by sterilizing the population of stray animals on the streets.
While there are government shelters in Taiwan, the laws are not consistent and the quality of life and conditions that the animals live in differ in every shelter. Some of this has to do with money, and some of it has to do with the staff who work at the shelters. At each shelter the veterinarians are also the managers. Shelters in Taiwan usually have a limited number of days that they keep the dogs alive, and have a certain day of the week that the animals are humanely euthanized. There are an overwhelming number of mixed breed street dogs and purebred dogs that come into the shelter on a daily basis with almost no hope of adoption. The only dogs that stand a chance at adoption are the small purebred ones and the puppies. The shelters are doing their best and microchipping each dog that leaves the shelter, and spaying or neutering them if they are over 6 months of age, and rabies vaccinating them. If the shelters are capable they try and keep the healthy friendly dogs for longer than they are supposed to, to give them at a chance at finding a home.
Many of the people who run “private shelters” in Taiwan can barely afford to feed themselves, let alone hundreds of dogs that they care for. Each place has a different level of care; at some of the places we visited, the owner of the private shelter only came a few times per week to feed the dogs, leaving them in the heat with dirty or no water.
Visit this link to find out more about Taiwanese street dogs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formosan_Mountain_Dog
Here is one of the organizations saving dogs and trying to make legal changes in Taiwan.
This is a video of a dog eating another dog at shelter in Taiwan. Viewer discretion is advised.
Welcome home Alva!
This sweet girl was brought to the U.S. from Taiwan by Special Pets Rescue, adopted from us, and was with her adoptive family for less than a week when she got spooked and slipped out of her harness on a walk. With help from the community, she’s been found and is safely back at home. Many thanks to Ann and all on Oak Ave in San Rafael who helped by calling us and feeding Alva. We never would have found and caught her without all of your help! Since she has been back she has started going to obedience classes and is becoming more confident. Here’s a link to a YouTube video of Alva’s return.