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Posts Tagged ‘cat rescue’

The Mewsers voted unanimously to give me the time to write this report. I know I’m supposed to be working on my book rather than blogging, but they agreed that this story is too important not to post. After I ramble on a bit, you can read an email from a contact I made in China about what the government decided to do to clean up Beijing for the Olympics. Officially, stray cats became an ‘image issue’. Puzzling, isn’t it? And apparently feeding stray cats in China is a subversive activity.

My Chinese contact wanted to remain anonymous and sent a detailed reply to my email even though my blog was blocked on this person’s computer.

A couple of weeks ago, I was so innocent. I began researching ‘cats in China’ stories before the Olympics thinking that it would be an interesting sidebar to all the Olympic hoopla. Right away though my research turned up horrifying accounts of cat cleansings in Beijing. Actually, you’d be hard-pressed to find much positive information for cats in China.

One of the main stories I read was in London’s DailyMail called “Olympics clean-up Chinese style: Inside Beijings shocking death camp for cats” by Simon Perry. It was a shocking, disturbing account. I wanted to report on this, but I did not want to simply regurgitate someone else’s news story and pass it off as true in the same way I don’t forward hysterical emails without checking Snopes.com.

I wanted to do some more research, but when I read the cryptic note at the end of Mr. Perry’s article indicating that his sources had to remain anonymous, I was wary as to whether to proceed with what could be a dangerous investigation into the back alleys of Beijing.

But the Mewsers are dauntless and intrepid reporters and they encouraged me to follow through, especially in such matters involving their brother and sister cats. It has taken several weeks to confirm this story, but you can read for yourself an account directly from someone who has personally observed this activity in Beijing.

Note: I must say that after watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics with its display of breathtaking beauty and artistry intricately woven together with off-the-charts technology, it made it even harder to juxtaposition what goes on behind the scenes in China.

The very public Olympics display and the secretive cat cleansings seem to illustrate the two opposing faces of China better than anything I can think of. If the Chinese want to change their image with the world, then they must understand that brutal removal and extermination of innocent cats in the name of ‘housecleaning’, makes no sense and only further damages their image. I would encourage an ‘official’ reconsideration of this senseless and shameful activity.

The Olympic cat cleansing stories have been circulating since March, 2008 but here is the latest update from the email I received this last week from China:

 
Thanks for your mail to me. Sorry for keeping your waiting, as I have been quite busy recently to care of several sick cats at same time.
 
Sharing with you for the below information:
 
As Olympic is coming, Beijing Government doesn’t take action on behave of themselves, but they seems delivered oral brief to street’s manangement to clean up stray cats in each community. 
 
The street’s management asked the catching cats team of government to take the cats off without any notice to any of the cats feeders. They have sent the cats to the shelter of government, put them for a while ( within 15 days) if no body adopt them, they will put down the cats ( They don’t have any ways of telling people to adopt the cats, even they locate in very far and rural place which are not easy to find ) or they will send the cats for experimental purpose.
 
Attached pls find two photos of two animal shelters in Beijing, one is for Chaoyang district, one is for Haidian district ( without any notice at the door/entrance ).
 
The above mentioned actions were happened in early July:pls see the below quoted mail which I sent to other cat friend: 
 
 
Here in the city there have been several catching stray cats accident happening in early July, there are several catching cats actions happened all over the city, focusing in Chaoyang district, which is the Nestle stadium located.
 
Such campaign hasn’t get any media coverage before hand, so that we haven’t know anything till the happening. They just want to do secretely and no body can stop them in advance.
 
 So far we know there are the below places in the city has happened the accident:
 
1.In Huayan li area ( near Nestle stadium ). July 04: more than 10 cats were taken away by the catching cat team of government, now the cats are being kept in Chaoyang Animal Shelter,  the feeders and other cat friends will go to ask back of them tommorrow.
 
2. No 35 North Garden Road, Haidian district ( near nestle stadium), belongs to army, July 04. around 18 cats were taken away by the soldiers. More than 30 soldiers with big sticks in hands, beaten and drove the cats into cages, and taken them to Chaoyang animal shelter, all the cats are being fed by an old lady over 70 year old, she is too old to stop the action from soldier, only asked back two cats from the catching. she is feeling so sad, as she feeds them each day, and most of the cats are friendly.
 
3. At least  other two communities around Nestle stadium had same accident in recent days.
  
In FengTai District, 北京装甲兵工程学院, July 03: over 20 cats were beaten to death. 
 
For the first two accidents are both happened around my place, so that I know they are true.
 
Some people who hate animal borrow this opportunity to hurt cats, there was another accident happened in An Hua Li July 27, the street management blocked the cat holes with cement + metal net with welding, cat lovers tried to open it, but second day the holes were blocked again. cats are inside and crying over day and night,,
 
There is a news link about it:
http://www.morningpost.com.cn/article.asp?articleid=139898
 
All are not so positive to stray cats in Beijing… 
When forward my message, please omit my name and address.

And that is the very sad state of affairs for Chinese cats.

Comments welcomed. 

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Thought I’d take a peek around at what life is like in China for felines. In doing so, I discovered the horror stories about cat culling to rid the city of its strays before the Olympics. I am doing some further investigations into this horrifying situation before going to ‘print’ here at the Newsroom.

Along the way, during my search, I discovered Scarlett Zhang who founded Beijing Cats in 2001 and has rescued and re-homed over 100 cats since starting her work.

Her website, Beijing Cat has videos and slide shows of the cats up for adoption. She makes it easy to become a Guardian Angel and sponser one of her cats. Or you can adopt while you’re at the Olympics and rescue one of Beijing Cats to bring back home with you. Her link to PetTravel, provides a wealth of information about traveling anywhere in the world, by car, train, or air, with your pet.

Scarlett’s cats seeking adoption are healthy, dewormed, neutered and vaccinated. They are also friendly, with sweet personalities, and suitable for adoption. She says:

If you are kind and responsible, have a stable income and can make a long-term commitment to bringing a new member into your family forever (including bringing him or her back to your home country if/when you leave China), then there are many wonderful cats here waiting for your love!

The grim reality of the government sponsored cat shelters, which was posted on her video page from what looks like a cell phone, provides a wakeup call to help Scarlett, however you are able, in her efforts with Beijing Cats.

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Marco, NOT feral, recovering from encounter with mean kitty.If I wasn’t so determined to become a responsible cat person, I’d have given up trying to trap this mean cat. See previous postings which chronicle this fascinating saga  🙂  

But Marco (at left) is now limping again. I heard the cat fighting noises last night and hoped that it wouldn’t result in yet another trip to the vet. I can’t find any injury or swelling, but he’s not putting any weight on his right front foot and he simply refuses to tell me what happened. Male pride.

I have yet to connect with the two groups in my area that can provide trapping cages. These groups are dedicated volunteers who are mainly providing spay/neuter services and they are simply overwhelmed and overloaded. There is not really a separate trap-neuter-release program here and certainly not enough cages.

The people at the local SPCA weren’t really sure what I meant when I asked them about TNR programs. They also told me there was a two month waiting list for getting an appointment for spay/neutering your own cat. They weren’t very interested in my feral problems, probably because they have enough to deal with.

So where do I go from here? I can’t get close to this cat. He’s coming up to the porch for food every day. But if I open the door, he bolts.  If I do trap him, then what?

What do I do with this feral cat? Marco, my beautiful orange tabby is curled up sleeping it off. (actual photo at top) The Mewsers are going in for their rabies shots tomorrow, so Marco will be getting proper medical attention.

Now to complicate things further, there’s a small black cat who I haven’t really talked about yet. She hasn’t been a problem. She’s been coming up to eat from the feral cat feeding station (a bowl of food and fresh water on the porch) every day and she’s letting me pet her head. I figured she would be an easy catch. I was able to scratch her belly this morning. Guess what? She pregnant!

It’s obvious we need more services here. There are few resources in my area for trapping cats except the volunteer people who are backed up. Then there’s Animal Control. Somehow I just can’t go there. I guess I feel like if he were ‘fixed’ maybe he’d be less likely to pick a fight all the time. I’m not looking for ‘tame’, just less hostile.

I’m reading about all kinds of feral and rescue programs elsewhere in the U.S. There’s a lot that could be done, but it takes a community effort. Where does one start?This looks exactly like 'mean kitty'..foul mood, yellow eyes and all! Please share your stories of feral cats and how your community deals with this problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The face of compassion

It’s fire season in California and the latest one in our area was the Humboldt Fire, which was close enough to us to tinge our sky hazy yellow.

The fire destroyed over 20,000 acres around Chico and Paradise. The entire town of Paradise (a beautiful place that lives up to its name) had to be evacuated. This included evacuating all of its animals too, a successful mission due to the efforts of the local animal disaster rescue groups.

I am always amazed at the dedication of the firefighters and volunteers who give 200% of their time and energy. The North Valley Animal Disaster Group, based out of Chico evacuated over 400 animals during this fire along with the help of United Animal Nations and the Yuba Sutter Domestic Animal Disaster Assistance.

This is my small voice of appreciation for their efforts. If I have left out any group or individuals who valiantly assisted in this rescue, please let me know. Here are a few photos from the rescue groups.

 

Humboldt Fire rescue effort

 

 

Needs no words

Emergency Animal Rescue Service, a division of United Animal Nations shared these beautiful images below.

 

EARS volunteer extraordinaire Jamie Peters took charge of the cat house.

 

Awwwwh....a happy ending

 

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