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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Dogged determination wins support for shelter

By Zheng Jinran (China Daily)

08:41, March 14, 2012

A volunteer plays with a dog at a shelter for stray dogs run by Li Jun in Fengtai district, Beijing, on Saturday. (Wang Deyang / for China Daily)

As she lies sick in hospital, 63-year-old Li Jun is more worried about who's looking after her dogs at home in Fengtai district of Beijing.

That's not surprising, until you learn that she is not talking about her pets. Li Jun lives with 180 stray dogs.

"I want to go back to my dogs immediately," said Li, who has taken in strays since 1997, three years after she retired from work.

"They need our attention urgently, because they might be sold to some restaurants and killed or maltreated," she said, adding that many of her dogs are disabled or sick.

Taking care of these poor animals uses up most of her time and savings.

"I never sleep for more than four hours a day, and it's the long hours I spend cleaning and feeding them that has delayed me getting treatment for my illness," she said.

Dog food alone costs 30,000 yuan ($4,754) each month, much more than her pension, and there are additional charges for the treatment of sick animals.

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