A survey conducted recently by the International
Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)’s Beijing office and domestic
organizations found widespread concern amongst residents over
IFAW official He Yong said there are at least one
million abandoned pets wandering the streets of the city, 80
percent of which are cats and most of the rest dogs.
One couple of breeding cats and their offspring
could produce 420,000 animals in seven years if left to their own
devices, according to Jackson Zee, an IFAW emergency relief expert,
and a pair of dogs could produce 67,000 in six years.
According to the survey, 40 percent of interviewees
said abandoned pets were now a very serious problem, but only 4
percent said they would be willing to adopt one.
According to IFAW, there are currently only around
10 animal rescue centers in Beijing. Most are non-governmental
organizations run on private donations, and some are almost out of
The Beijing Human and Animal Environmental
Education Center is one of largest rescue units for abandoned pets.
It is designed to house 200 animals but now accommodates twice as
In March, the center accepted over 40 abandoned
pets but only 3 have since been adopted, all dogs. Cats are rarely
accepted for adoption.
Doctor Gao, from Beijing’s animal hospital, said
sterilization is the most effective way to curb the problem since
sexual frustration is a common factor in pets’ troublesome
behavior. Sterilization can avoid this as well as boosting
immunity, and most pets are abandoned because of difficult behavior
Zhang Luping, sponsor of the Beijing Human and
Animal Environmental Education Center said people should do more in
changing their attitudes: “Attitude is much more important than
rescue work. Ten people changing their minds is more useful than
rescuing 5 pets.”
(China.org.cn by Wang Zhiyong May 10, 2005)