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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Woman with 70 pets defies police

By Wei Na (Global Times)

08:14, January 11, 2012

A 70-year-old animal lover who has over 70 stray dogs and cats in her 50-square-meter apartment refused to admit any visitors yesterday as she fears police will come to "take and kill my companions."

"I ignore knocks at the door and barely answer the phone, because I'm terrified to confront the people who will force me to give the dogs and cats away," said Liu Ruiyun, who lives in Huabeixi community in Gaobeidian, Chaoyang district.

Neighborhood police say they will act out of consideration to public anger in the neighborhood, and intend to remove the animals in batches, according to a police officer surnamed Jia from Gaobeidian police station, who refused to comment further.

"It's not a way of living a life, but what choice do I have?" said Liu, who finally answered a phone call yesterday after refusing to open her apartment door.

According to Liu, whose 40-year-old divorced daughter also often stays over, currently she has about 40 cats and 30 dogs in her fourth-floor apartment. Liu and her daughter have a combined monthly income of 3,300 yuan ($523). Liu spends around 2,000 yuan a month on the animals' upkeep, she said.

Liu started taking in strays more than five years ago but the number of the dogs and cats kept growing, leading to complaints from her neighbors.

"It was fine, she kept a couple in the building at first, but she lost control later, taking in over 100 dogs and cats which stank out the whole building. We constantly get complaints about that as well as the barking at night time," said Liu Guangqi, an official from Huabeixi Sub-district administrative office.

"She sometimes poured the dog shit through the window, and I was almost unable to breathe during the summer," said a man living on the third floor of Liu's building, who declined to be named.

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