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Thirteen stray dogs bound for new homes in the US

KAOHSIUNG -- Thirteen dogs have boarded a flight to the United States to find new homes there, in the latest attempt to save some of Taiwan's many stray dogs, animal rescue workers said Sunday.

The dogs were rescued from southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung City, where they were found to have been abused or suffering from illnesses, rescue workers said. The dogs were first taken by train from Kaohsiung to Taipei before boarding the flight.

There were sad stories behind every abused dog, said rescue worker Chang Ya-hui, who led four volunteers of the non-profit Animal Rescue Team Taiwan, to accompany the dogs on the train.

For example, she said, Andrew, one of the dogs who will be sent to Seattle, was covered with insect bites when he was found in Linyuan Township, while Irene, another abused dog who lost her eye sight, had suffered from serious skin diseases.

The group of U.S.-bound dogs also included eight puppies that were abused by foreign migrant workers and were later rescued from an oyster harbor, Chang said.

While an increasing number of Taiwanese people have become aware of the need to help stray animals, the adoption rate is still low, putting pressure on animal shelters with limited budgets to care for the dogs.

It is hoped that by taking the dogs to shelters in the U.S., their chances of being adopted will increase.

Since 2004, the rescue team has carried out more than 200 such cases, flying a total of 1,470 animals rescued in Taiwan to North America, by cooperating with similar organizations in the U.S and Canada.

December 13, 2010    tublairy@
I understand the motivation, but in the long run educating the public and having strict laws about animal welfare are the only solution.
December 15, 2010    elumpen@
Indeed. Asia in general does, sadly, have something of a reputation for animal abuse. Making sure this kind of thing doesn't happen in the first place is far more cost-effective than shipping animals off to the US ... and how sad that, out of 23 million people, there aren't a few people locally who will take them in.
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