Pet shelter gets a helping hand

09:39, September 06, 2010      

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Though it's a Saturday, Zhang Luping was up early, working with volunteers to care for the animals housed at Beijing Human and Animal Environmental Education Center (BHAEE).

Zhang, the founder of BHAEE, was busy grooming four-leg guests and cleaning the entire shelter environment, in a bid to kill off parasites, flies and other pests multiplying in the hot summer weather.

Fortunately for the center, James Rha, head of the Business Unit CAP with Bayer (Sichuan) Animal Health Co Ltd, was willing to travel the 40 kilometers to BHAEE. He came not only to see more than 700 dogs, cats and other small animals housed there, but also to bring medicine and anti-pest solutions to the animal rescue facility.

Rha said he was really excited that his company can assist with parasite problems at BHAEE. "I hope that our products and technologies can help improve the quality of life for these lovely animals. They are our friends, our family members," he said.

Bayer Animal Health donated a batch of animal healthcare products to BHAEE on Saturday, including medicines for parasite infestation and prevention and treatment for ticks, fleas and mosquitoes attacks.

Rha indicated that Bayer's pet products are environmentally friendly and are not harmful to animals or humans.

On the same day, Bayer Environment Science also contributed anti-pest medications to the animal shelter. Michel Rampaund, currently the country manager for Bayer Environmental Science China, said that the company will also provide professional training for the center's staff to ensure the effectiveness of the products.

Upon receiving the donations, Zhang said: "The medicine will serve to greatly ease our burden," she said, explaining how the hot weather this summer has amplified pest and parasite problems.

"Our animals live together, which means epidemics caused by parasites and pests are a crucial threat to their health and even their lives. We have tried our best to solve the problem. Without money to buy decent medicine, we have had to pay huge labor expenses, while the results are not good," said Zhang, 58, who founded China's largest no-kill animal rescue facility.

In 1997, Zhang, an animal activist, gave up her lucrative career as a real estate agent and a food and beverage entrepreneur and poured 10 million yuan into reinventing an abandoned military base on the outskirts of Beijing into a safe haven for abused and abandoned animals.

Today, the barracks are shelter for dogs and the courtyards are dotted with "kitty condos" a type of feline housing unit Zhang invented. Two pigs also run free on the grassland.

The center is engaged in animal protection, adoption and public education activities. These activities aim to improve the plight of abandoned animals, promote animal protection legislation and promote social awareness.

As a non-governmental organization, BHAEE's operation depends on private donations and volunteers' devotion.

In the center, domestic and international animal lovers work side-by-side to give the animals a new chance at life. The pet refuge has attracted more than 1,000 volunteers from home and aboard. According to Zhang, most foreigners here are students and teachers, wives of officials at international organizations, embassies and executives of multinational companies.

"Volunteers range from teenagers to seniors who contribute what they can for stray animals, regardless of whether our four-legged friends are ugly or pretty, healthy or sick," said Zhang.

Volunteers can offer to walk dogs or cats, engage in socializing, cleaning, feeding or assisting staff for any assignment. They also help to promote the center to international organizations, enterprises and media to seek possible fund-raising, donations or adoptions.

Source:China Daily


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