Story By Yan on 6/11/2019
On May 24th, when I was out of Beijing, I received a disturbing message from a British rescuer saying that a dog with a broken chin had been hanging out in the east of XiSanQi in Beijing for a few days, asking if I could contact someone to look for the dog. The person who took the photo had no rescue experience and did not know how to catch a stray dog. She also left Beijing already. I had asked three people I know in Beijing to look for the dog, but I was told it was either too far or inconvenient to go without a car. Finally, a girl from an animal rescue group in Wuhan found someone in Beijing via WeChat, who asked another girl volunteer to check for the stray dog. The girl lives more than ten kilometers from XiSanQi. It was midnight already and the girl said she would go after work with a friend the next day.
The next evening, they saw the puppy with a broken chin. From the pictures and videos sent to me, I could tell it was an empty area with quite a few main roads. There were a couple of barbecue stands, some parked cars and a few shops facing the street. Two stray dogs were hanging out there as well. A man at the stand fed the dogs now and then. The girls said those two dogs were very cautious, did not allow anybody to get close to them including the man who fed them. The girls did not know if they could catch them all and worried that they may scare the dogs to the road. In the meantime, I contacted an animal clinic in Beijing, where there were vets on duty 24 hours, telling them that volunteers would bring the dogs in at any time.
The girls bought food from a nearby KFC to feed the dogs, but those two dogs ran away immediately after taking the food. Back and forth many times, the girls were still unable to catch them. It was late, the girls decided to come back the next day with a better tool. Just then I heard a terrifying scream in the video. Something had happened! The puppy with the broken chin got hit by a car while following the man from the stand! The two girls picked up the bleeding puppy and rushed to the clinic. While driving, they kept informing me of the condition of the puppy. Soon they told me that the situation did not look good, and puppy may not survive. When they got to the clinic, there were no vital signs on the puppy. Hearing this, everyone was silent, devastated and heartbroken.
Two girls buried the puppy’s little body, wishing him to find a safe and warm place in his next life, a place without abuse by human beings, a place that has plenty of food, a place to run freely, and a place that is full of love.
I deeply blamed myself for the tragedy. I feel it was because of me the puppy lost his life. What if I did not find anybody to save him? I asked myself. He might be still alive. I had asked somebody I did not know well enough to help, but in the end, the puppy died in her arms. My heart is full of remorse and guilt.
I told the British rescuer what had happened. She was very sad. That mood of grief is impossible to describe. The next few days I couldn’t stop thinking of that little puppy. I feel he was looking at my eyes and blaming me for losing his life.
On the third day, I put myself together and began to think about how to save the other two dogs in XiSanQi. I contacted the two girls again, thanked them for their rescue effort and their kindness, and asked them to check on those two dogs again. This time they brought a cage, ropes, and food, and asked a more experienced young man to go with them. That night they caught two, a girl and a boy, but those were not the two dogs they saw before. These two were easy to catch.
They took them to the clinic immediately. The virus check turned out to be negative, which is a relief. The dog was then dewormed and put to observation for a week.
Two days later, I returned to Germany. I kept thinking of those two dogs still on the street. This time I did not want to trouble those three young people again. I contacted a friend in Beijing and told him the whole story in detail. He suggested finding a professional to tranquilize the stray dogs to avoid another possible tragedy. If tragedy ever happened again, no one could stand it.
My friend contacted the expert immediately and they found 4 dogs!
While my friend was showing me the video at the scene, he asked me which two were the ones I would like to take. Looking at those four hungry and skinny dogs, it was difficult to decide which one to leave behind. I was struggling. My friend pressed me to make a decision. "Sister, hurry up!" he said in the video. “Okay, pick the puppies,” I told him. A few minutes later, I heard him say, “You can go now. I'll put them in the cage by myself.” Apparently, the expert indeed knew what he was doing. Two dogs were tranquilized and fell on the ground in the blink of the eye.
In the video, my friend thanked the expert and began to load two dogs to the car. Then he talked to me “The weather is very hot here. The dogs are easy to get skin disease with such long hair. Or they may get hit by a car if we don’t take care of them. Let me get the other two for you as well”. I don't know how, but he managed to capture the other two in half-hour. All four dogs were put in cages and loaded into his car. He took them all to the same clinic directly.
A total of 6 dogs was from this rescue including two few-month-old puppies, two adult girls, and two adult boys.
In the clinic, they were examined, and the virus tested. Then they received vaccine shots and got dewormed. Four adult dogs also got sterilization. Later, the clinic sent me a video showing that one puppy began to cough. Fortunately, the testing result had showed it was not canine distemper, although the puppy still needed to be isolated.
A few days later, I received the bill, two weeks of foster care, plus all tests, vaccine, sterilization, and costs to shave two dogs, a total of 5094 Chinese Yuan, more than a 1-month salary for an average Chinese worker. Two foreign girls who help to rescue stray animals in Beijing and the person who took the photo helped to raise 1400 Chinese Yuan. I don’t know which country they are from, but does it matter? We are all working towards a common goal. This morning I received a bill from the clinic in Guangzhou for the cost from May 10 to June 10. It included foster care for A Xing, XiangZi, NiuNiu, Xiao Huang, Da He, Fei Fei, Andy, and De Zai, plus sterilization for De Zai and XiangZi and other vaccine costs, a total of 7700 Chines Yuan! I almost fainted when I saw those two bills.
Having been done rescue for so many years, sometimes I really feel tired, physically and mentally. I just found homes for XiangZi, Yang Yang and Huan Huan, a sigh of relief, now comes six more! I am asking everyone who reads my blogs to help if you can. If you are willing to adopt or donate dog food, please contact me.
All those rescue dogs have been vaccinated, dewormed, and chipped. For those more than a year old, they have been sterilized. They are all healthy, waiting for loving families to bring them home."
Update from two days later:
Yesterday I received a WeChat message from Dr. Cao who has been taking care of those six rescues from XiSanQi. Dr. Cao said that one of his clients would like to adopt one of them. The family lives nearby and their 15-year-old dog passed away a few days ago.
Very quickly, Mr. Li contacted me. He told me he is forty years old. He adopted the family dog when the dog was three days old. They called the dog "Three Days". The family missed Three Days very much. One of the rescues from XiSanQi looked just like their Three Days, so they want to adopt her.
Mr. Li already named the puppy, XiaoHeNiu. Mr. Li assured me that he will take good care of XiaoHeNiu, all vaccines will be done on schedule and they plan on spaying her when she is old enough.
Mr. Li went home happily to prepare a bed, clean up a place, and buy other supplies for XiaoHeNiu. Tomorrow morning, XiaoHeNiu will have a home to go. Mr. Li insisted on paying the expenses for the night of May 29. I am pleased that XiaoHeNiu will begin a happy and stable life so soon and she will live with dignity. At the same time, the cost is lessened for me.
Mr. Li had said what I always want to say. It is fate, the love for animals and respect to the lives that connect all of us together. My heart is deeply touched by Mr. Li. Having done rescue work for many years, tragic experiences often frustrates me. Running into a person with a gentle and kind heart gives me encouragement and warmth."