I’ve always loved animals, but the saying is true; If you truly love something, you have to be able to let it go.
One month after arriving in Nanjing I became the proud owner of a rescued dog. Alfie was found outside an abandoned apartment building and, little did I know, he would be the beginning of my adventures in rescuing and fostering animals in China. Less than two weeks after adopting Alfie off of WeChat, I found a kitty on the side of the road barely moving. After asking some pet groups on how to handle the situation, I was directed to Ping An A Fu, a massive shelter outside the city that houses thousands of sick and abandoned dogs. They were able to help the poor poisoned kitty and, 5 months later, adopted him out to a new loving home where he is currently flourishing.
More than a year later right before Golden Week I found a kitten outside my apartment building and added another member to my growing family. Alfie had a new little sister named Alara. Her arrival really kicked things into motion. I became the go-to person in various groups to foster or cat-sit last minute. Over Spring Festival, my house began to overflow with pets. I spent the holiday with 1 dog, 2 turtles and 3 cats running around my apartment. Since then I’ve fostered multiple lovely cats who’ve all found new homes or went to Ping An A Fu for medical treatment. I’ve also raised 2 young stray puppies whose mother was unfortunately killed before they were even old enough to eat solid food.
While I haven’t been able to save all those who pass through my home, those who move on have flourished and found loving families to care for them. Even though it can be hard to spend so much time with an animal and let them go on to better things, it allows me to continue taking in the lost, scared animals who might not otherwise get the life they deserve.
Through all of this the local animal community has been a godsend. So many people ready to offer advice on how to feed nursing kittens, where the best vets in the city are and who might be interested in adopting when the time is right. Nanjing seems filled with animal lovers, from the shelter who takes in all pets to the people who keep an eye on the local strays and help them out as much as possible.
The city is filled with people who have the animal’s best interests at heart and who are ready to use their own time and money to make the world a better place for just one small life. As an animal lover, how could I not do the same?
By Alieya NJ5