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Shanghai Stray Shelter Needs Helpers

A non-profit animal shelter that opened in Shanghai Minhang District over the weekend is searching for volunteers to support its operations.


"It took great efforts to receive approval from authorities to have our center licensed and legally opened. Yes, we need a lot of more volunteers to see a good future for it," said Zhou Min, one of the founders of the center, located at No. 1123 Lianhua Road S.


She said the 200-square-meter shelter is probably the largest animal aid center in Shanghai.


The Shanghai Pets Aid Center was founded and is funded by the Minhang District Pet Association, a licensed non-profit animal protection organization.


"There are just too many strays now and we want to do something to change their fate and let people understand what they can do to help," said Zhou.


People can adopt stray cats and dogs from the center, or drop off strays they find on the street. Those who want to help animals but don't have enough room at home for a new pet, can fund one of the strays at the center, Zhou said.


She said the center has received a great deal of help from the Songjiang Agriculture Institute, which provides vets to take care of the animals at the center, as well as several other vet agencies in Shanghai.


The center will launch its Website (www.petmh.org) this week to tell people how they can adopt a stray pet and keep people up to date on the center's activities.


"A list of the cost of medication will be clearly stated online for each of the sick animals at our Website, so volunteers and donors can see how their money is spent," Zhou said.


The Website will also tell people how they can become a volunteer at the center.


"The center had just opened and on Sunday we already had some residents from nearby asking about how they could help. We expect to see more visitors soon," Zhou said.


The center is currently selling memberships for 30 yuan (US$3.71), which entitle pet owners to veterinary services at cost, according to Zhou.


She said there is no charge for adopting a pet or dropping off a stray animal. "We want to stress our center is only about people gathering together to offer free help to some poor animals," Zhou said.


(Shanghai Daily December 12, 2005)

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