Archive for December, 2010

BL’s journey to the West

BL’s  Journey to the West.
** Real Life story by Mandy Kaur **

It all started in the summer of 2010, not sure if it was July or if it was August, anyhow it makes no difference.  My flat mate had asked me to go into to her local kennel/petshop/Vet to collect her dog who she had left for the weekend whilst travelling.

This place was everything from a pet shop, vet clinic to boarding kennels, but to me, this place just looked grimy and dirty with small dogs locked in crates with no blankets in their beds and not so fresh water in their bowls. The vet assistants too spent most of their time chatting, surfing the internet or sleeping.  I then go and collect her dog and discover this beautiful 2month old Labrador puppy. I wondered whose it was. ‘It’s for sale’ 1700rmb (£164) the vet told me. The pup was malnourished with no water and cooped up in a tiny cage. I bend over to have a closer look and hidden right at the back of this place in a dark corner I see these brown sunken eyes glaring at me. I felt this instant feeling of sadness and had to find out why he was at the back in a cage he could hardly stand in.  I ask the vet and he said ‘This is Laden, he’s a 2 year old Labrador, pure bred’ I asked him whose dog he was; he told me it was his. I didn’t think anything at the time and left with the husky.  That night I kept thinking about Laden, I don’t know why,    I just had this feeling I can’t explain.

The next few days passed and I got talking to 2 British guys who own the local western bar here. They already have 2 black Labradors who wonder around the bar greeting guests or begging for food as usual. I got talking about Laden and they told me the dog does not belong to the vet, in fact he was dumped by his owner over 4 months ago and never returned. I later discovered he had been left for a year cooped up in that cage. They also told me Laden has never played off his lead, has never been walked properly, just tied to a tree outside the vets to relieve himself and then back in the cage. I was furious and just didn’t know what to think or do. The next day I got in touch with Marvin who runs JAR animal rescue. What he and his wife do for animals is just simply amazing. He has also became a good friend of mine and also someone I can trust for real advice when it comes to animals. Marvin gave me some sound advice on how to be persistent in trying to get Laden released. He also offered to ask around in Shanghai about vets holding dogs that were abandoned by their owners. I went back into the vets almost every day and one day just took him out of the cage. He jumped at me and would not leave my side. The vet could see Laden had taken a liking to me and agreed for me to walk Laden regularly. This was the beginning of Ladens journey to the West.

I still remember putting his collar on and attaching the lead, he was going insane jumping and crying not knowing if he should be happy or scared.  I lead him outside and he almost took my arm off, Laden is one strong frustrated chap.  I took him to the dog park with other dog lovers. He got to meet lots of other 4 legged friends.  There was no aggression, dominance towards any other dog, he was just so happy to be free for a short while. He ran, played ball and even tried to get his leg over a few times which was a scene I must add.  The dog owners recognised him as he is the only black Labrador of that size in Nantong. They thought I had brought him. I explained the story and they were shocked, they just didn’t know he was nobody’s dog.  They said they would speak on my behalf to try and get this vet to release Laden to me.  I guess they figured because im a non-Chinese person, it was more about money rather than the dog. So, they advised getting one of my Chinese friends to go in and ask on my behalf. 

So, I did just that.  I had a Chinese teacher from my school call up and another go in directly. I spread this over some time to make it less obvious. However, the vet was still adamant Laden was not to be sold.  He said he was afraid his owner may turn up and demand Laden be returned. It’s insane, he left his dog for a year, why come back now? I later discovered Laden has accumulated a fee for his food, boarding and jabs.  So, it was about money.
When I go into that pet shop, I just call ‘Ladiiiiiiiiin’ and Just seeing Laden’s face light up, I knew I had to do something for him. I know there are many stray dogs in China and other parts of the world, I also know I can’t save all dogs, but if I can change the fate of just one, I would be satisfied with that.  After his walk, I had a chat with the vet, he said there was no way he was selling the dog, and would raise the dog himself. I was angry because he isn’t walked, fed properly and locked in a cage where the bars are all rusty and sticking up so when he lays down, the bars cut his paws, he has scars on his paws and fur missing on his elbows where he lays on just bars. I offered to buy a bed but the vet didn’t agree due to laden messing in his cage. If he was walked 3 times a day, he would not mess his cage would he?

I just could not talk to this guy, he clearly doesn’t love animals. I left crying with anger and shear helplessness of not being able to help Laden.  I just would not give in. In my plight in trying to find a solution, I got onto seeking some advice from a Labrador rescue site. The first one that came up was Labrador lifeline. I sent an email, not getting my hopes up to be honest. The next day, I check my email and the feeling of dread opening this email thinking it was going to be ‘sorry we cannot help)to sheer surprise.  Labrador lifeline was willing to pay for Laden to come to the UK providing I get him released. They also sent me some contacts emails and phone numbers of some vets and rescue centres in China that I could contact for some advice on getting laden out.  My body went hot and cold with adrenaline due to the excitement of someone in another country believing in me.

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The constant emailing back and forth gathering information, getting rescue centres to speak to the vets direct also failed, he was not interested.  Marvin also tried many times but because he is in another province, he had no power to demand Laden be released. We agreed that I would gather some hard evidence and also get the name and contact of the vet direct.  I took my camera and whilst the vet was on lunch, I took pictures of the grim kennel, inside the cage, his scars on his elbows and the name of the vet. I emailed this all to Marvin and BINGO!, he knew this chain and got onto the owners immediately. Marvin compiled an email attaching all the pictures and sent it off to the overall. All we could do is sit and wait.

Amongst all this, my flat mate wanted a second dog for her current dog and I suggested the pup Labrador that I first noticed at the beginning. She didn’t have the cash at the time so I fronted it for her. On the 15th September she gets the 2 month old pup. She was off travelling for a week so I looked after both dogs.  She named the puppy ‘Ribs’ and I nicknamed him pupsickle. This puppy was full of beans, so adorable. Anyhow, on her return she told me she had second thoughts about the pup as her neighbours were complaining, he was barking and had messed on the stairs once, so the neighbours were wearing plastic bags over their shoes.  I mean come on, he’s a puppy, plus I don’t mean to sound off, but when people I have seen here spit on this floor, I don’t know what’s worse? I took it upon myself to contact Marvin as I just didn’t want to take any chances. I sent over pupsickle’s pictures and Marvin put together his story. It only took a week for someone to get in touch. A guy who had previously adopted a Labrador retriever from JAR was interested.  I told my flat mate and she seemed positive. We then discover that Pupsickle has developed mites and the cost of treatment was draining her finances. I explained this to the new potential owner and he was adamant on coming to to see the pup. I arranged to go to Shanghai and then drive back with him to my place with him.

On the 2nd October he came to see pupsickle.  He and his dog both took a liking to the bouncy pup. My flat mate was so moody and very unwelcoming and basically told me if I wanted my money back, he best buy the pup. Her attitude made me upset and I broke into tears. The guy wanted 1 day to think about a solution because pupsickle had mites, he didn’t want his dog to contract them.  He promised to get back to me on Monday. He wanted to ensure a vet in Shanghai could hold Pupsickle until his mites have cleared. I explained this to my flat mate and she didn’t seem convinced.
On Monday 4th October at 9:30am I sent her an email explaining that money issue was between her and I. I also explained that I have been trying hard to get the pup a home and that most people would not have bothered and have let her deal with it herself.  She then told me in a cold email that she never asked me to interfere and that she would deal with Ribs in her own way and to get him out of my mind.  At 5:30pm the guy calls and confirms he will come Wednesday to collect pupsickle –Ribs, I was ecstatic and could not wait to go and tell my flatmate. I got home and could not find the crate. I assumed she was cleaning it or something. The door opens and only the her dog and herself come in. I asked ‘where’s Pupsickle’? She sheepishly says ‘He’s  gone’ I asked where 3 times and she said in a stern voice ‘ At 10:36 this morning I killed him’. I nearly threw up and instantly thought it was my email that pushed her. How could anyone end an innocent life? She said he had distemper and there was a 50/50 chance he would survive. I didn’t believe this one bit and asked the vet we got him from. He said she never came to him, which made me suspicious, he also said that there is no way he had distemper as the blood tests for the mites would have detected any other illness, plus he was injected against distemper. I then went to the international vets who said she came in with her Chinese girlfriend asking how much it would cost to put him to sleep. Just 50 yuan, (less than £5) they also questioned her as he was fit and healthy; she just said she didn’t want him so they euthanized him. She could not wait 1 day and God only knows where she dumped his body, I don’t believe she buried him like she said as I went to the place and couldn’t find anything. I didn’t get to say goodbye to him and that just breaks my heart. You just don’t know what I would give to turn back time. I remember that morning, seeing pupsickle in his crate. I was on my way to work and just said ‘stop barking, I’ll be home soon, love you’ I didn’t know that when I returned, my poor pup would be dead. If it was a money thing, she could have asked.

I moved out of her apartment into my own as I could not stand looking at her, plus the apartment reminded me of pupsickle. I loved him.  The potential owner then blamed himself thinking why he didn’t take the puppy that day. I also blame myself but to be honest, we both didn’t think she could be so callous. I am a great believer in Karma, its only a matter of time.  I devoted all my anger into getting Laden out. As it so happens, it worked out like it was fate. I moved out on the 15th October. I had just finished moving some bits and was on route to my old place when I saw Laden tied to a tree for his ‘walk’. I cycle over and he doesn’t know I am there. I slowly creep up behind him and call his name ‘Ladinnnnnnn’ He turned around and almost took the tree down. The funny thing is, the locals that know me in the area such as the hair dressers, convenience store workers who all see me walking him came out and said to the vet, ‘Laden loves her, let her have him’.  I thought that was great. The next day I go to get my hair done right next to the vets. I am in the middle if a trim and see Laden run past me with one of the assistants chasing after him. I get out of my chair and go out to see. I just stood still and called ’Ladinnnnnnn’. He stopped and turned round and ran straight towards me. He would not leave my side and would not go back into the vets, so I had to walk him in.  At that point the vet said ‘take him’ I know you love him and he loves you, just take him. I thought I was hearing things.  The only condition was to pay his boarding fee.  I think Marvins email worked. The Chain owner must have had words with him as it was like talking to a completely different person. He even said I could leave Laden here whilst I was at work during the day and take him in the evenings and just pay for his food, he wouldn’t charge for boarding.  I then rushed home in tears with joy, shaking and not knowing who to tell first.

To secure this, I told Anne from Labrador lifeline, she immediately sent the money for his boarding fee and a declaration which states that Laden is no longer the property of the vets and that his is to be signed over to Labrador Lifeline and I would be his owner in China until he arrives in the UK.  He signed the forms, I got rid of the crap food he was on and got him some eukanuba dry food, wet food sachets and some huge bones and treats.  I picked him up on the 16th he had been showered and looked stunning. The first night he spent at mine, wow, I didn’t sleep until 5am. He chewed his bone for hours, he obviously never had one before as his gums were bleeding. I could see in his eyes, sheer joy and gratitude that words cannot even transcribe. This moment I will treasure forever, the caged dog with the sunken eyes has a new lease of life. The downside was the constant humping. He humped his dog bed for hours, and then decided he wanted to hump my leg, head, arm and my bed. I know it was through joy and excitement, so I was not put off in anyway.

Marvin put me in contact with globypetrelo to arrange Ladens travel from China to the UK. Labrador lifeline agreed to cover the costs.  So, I agreed to keep Laden with me until the 22nd October then have him sent to Shanghai to undergo his rabies vaccine and then stay at globy boarding kennels in Shanghai for 30days. I know it sounds like one kennel to another but trust me, his new kennel was a  palace compared to the box he had before, So, the morning of the 22nd October pupsickles potential owner wanted to help and was kind enough to let me borrow his driver for the day to collect Laden and myself to drive to Shanghai to drop him at globypetrelo. Laden was well behaved and observant sitting in the back.  I must add, when this Land Rover Sport pulls up outside the grimy vets the locals gather to see what’s going on. They then see Laden all groomed coming out of the vets and questions are flying ‘Is that Laden, how much did you pay for him?, where is he going and when will he be back?’ I answer ‘He is never coming back; he will be flying to England to live with me’. We get in and drive off, the look on the vets t face…priceless.  Laden took some getting used to sitting in the boot, but he is a smart dog and soon got that hang of it providing he had my shoulder as a head rest.  There was no nervousness, no anxiety. I think he knew I was taking him to a better place, and for that, he was grateful.

His new kennel is not a cage but a nice clean tiled open top area where he can walk around, plus he has a St Bernard neighbour on one side and a Labrador and King Charles from France on the other side for company. He looked so happy, I could see it in his eyes, a huge space just for him, he could move around, see things and have people and other dogs around him.  Globypetrelo are well trained and genuinely love animals. I have been going every weekend to see Laden to let him know I have not left him. To be honest, the people at globypetrelo all love Laden and he has been taught a trick or two. He gets walked, let off to run and just enjoys being there. I am so grateful for globypetrelo and Marvin for helping me.  Globypetrelo took care of everything from his vaccines, boarding and flight arrangements.  Now he is in Shanghai, the next leg of his journey is flying from Shanghai to London. His rabies jabs are due Tuesday 26th October and then Wednesday I should receive an email with his rough departure date.

Once he arrives in England, he will undergo quarantine for 6 months at Whey Farm in Surry where Rebecca will be handling his boarding for the duration. She has also been extremely encouraging and helpful during this tough time and yet she remained hopeful like me.  Anne at Labrador lifeline managed to get a dog food company to provide Ladens food for the whole 6 months free of charge. He will even get to taste the food and then decide which one he likes, now that’s something he never experienced, he was used to left over Chinese food with a hand food of puppy kibble for his food. Obviously when I got him, I put him on proper food as he was looking really malnourished and dehydrated.  But now, coat glossy, bright eyes and a wet nose and a future of sheer pleasure waiting for him.

November 29th was the day Ladin departed Shanghai Pudong to London Heathrow. His name has now been changed to Zuri (African for beautiful).  Zuri now has his new family waiting for him in the UK. A couple who already have a recue black female Labrador.  Zuri has stuck gold. A new country, a new home, a new family and a girlfriend….What more can he ask for.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to Anne for being strong and believing in me.  Without her and her generosity, this would not have been possible.  I also want to thank Rebecca at Whey farm for homing Zuri for the next 6 months.  Marvin, you are a superstar, with your support and caring, not only for Zuri but helping me pull through after losing pupsickle and just the love you have for animals is just priceless. Globypetrelo (Eric, Emily, Helen and the team) thank you for homing Zuri whilst he was in Shanghai, playing with him and showing him the affection he deserves.  Together as a team we have saved the fate of a dog that I know is eternally grateful. For me, I feel now even Pupsickle can live on through Zuri and be free.
I also want to add that there are many genuine animals lovers in China.  Where I was, I saw many devoted dog lovers who really love their animals and also were willing to help me too. 
‘You can’t save all the dogs in this world, but for the dog I did save, the world has already changed for him’

In loving memory of Pupsickle My baby

All you wanted was to love
All you wanted was to be loved
In such a short time you brought me such joy,
Your smile, your eyes, such happiness
You were pure and your love, unconditional
you wanted a chance
I gave you my love and in return you gave me yours
To be taken from me
I feel I’m lost, a dark hole in my heart
You were not mine, yet to me, you were
I loved you, even just for a short time
I will never forget you my pupsickle
I know you are at peace over the rainbow
You are safe, nobody can hurt you now
You can live on,
In my heart you will live on forever

Bye my sweet puppy xxx

Categories: JAR news...

Rescued pups in Hongqiao

…received an emergency phone call from a rescuer that she found 2 young puppies (brothers) living underneath a used car in her compound. The unfortunate thing is that the rescuer is unable to temporarily look after them. Same ol’ same ol’ story but it was cold and raining so I had no choice and get them.

I go to her home and had them placed in the crate that I brought with me. Playful little things and were getting along with the rescuer’s own dog. Friendly, yet the black puppy (Xiao Hei) was more submissive.
They have been health checked,  approx 5 months old and have had their 1st vaccinations, deflead, dewormed and checked for ear mites.
I am very lucky to have foster parents available and they are now going to their foster homes in time for Christmas celebrations!  🙂
I am looking for permanent homes for them, so if you are interested in adopting these 2 cute little puppies, please email me!
Thank you for your support!

Categories: JAR news..., JAR Rescues

Cat rescues…

Rescued kittens/cats from a compound that were going to be killed by the guards!
There are a total of 10 and managed tosave 3. We are going to keep going and try to save the others…….tough….sad and frustrating that this is happening…   😦
They are all in the hospital receiving treatment. More information to follow. 2 cats (black/white) have received their 1st vaccine shots. Healthy and friendly towards people.
We are looking for permanent/foster homes for them.

If you can help, please email me:
Thank you!

Rescue mission….

…I and JAR volunteers/rescuers went to Puxi late last night in hopes to rescue 2 puppies from a man who apparently has been eating dogs for many years, especially puppies…..we had no choice in the matter and deal with the situation.
As you can see from the pictures below, the puppies were kept outside in the freezing cold. The big dog was the man’s ‘guard dog’.
We arrived and the man was not there, so we took the puppies to our car. The man finally arrived (drunk), and we spoke with him of the situation. He became very aggressive and did not want to listen to what we wanted to say as we were trying to educate him about animal welfare. ‘No law, no right to tell me that I can’t eat dogs’ he exclaims.
3 guys showed up threatening us and wanted the puppies back but we pretended we had no idea where they were…..time to exit. The man did not want to compromise. He was being rude and disrespectful to all of us. There was no way we can ‘educate’ this man as he is set in his own ways……..shame….but we can only do so much and without animal protection laws set in place, we are vulnerable to do anything or have the ‘power’ to stop what he is doing…..I even called my contact who has ‘guanxi’ with the head of the police department but there is nothing they can do either…paying the man to stop is not going to do any good too…..hopefully things will change……
The puppies are at least safe and sound in the hospital…but we are sure our visit and lecture is not going to refrain him from doing what he is and will be doing…..

TNR Diary – Suzhou (Week 2)

Operation Catnip
TNR Diary Week 2 (Suzhou)


29th November 2010.

One broken carrier and a sad team today!
Three more cats caught for Hago hospital today. It was the first time using the trap kindly provided by JAR Shanghai. It worked really well and we got our cat safely into a carrier so that we could re-set the trap straight away. However there were tears to come. When we arrived at Hago the trapped cat became furious and smashed his way out of the carrier, he bolted instantly and we were unable to find him. The nurses and vet re-assured us that they would continue to search and that many cats live in their neighbourhood and are fed by local people. They believe he will be safe there. We will also keep searching and report if we have any news. So we have two males in for surgery today, all seven cats can be released on Thursday so that we be a big day for us. Our tiny rescue “Sinda” came home today. She is well but needs lots of TLC, she is very underweight and frightened.

30th November 2010.

Trap empty today. Searched for our missing cat but no-one has spotted him.

1st December 2010.

Trap successful this morning. One handsome cat inside. We took it to Hago and he/she will have the operation tomorrow. Another search for escapee, we are sure that we spotted him today; amongst four other tabbies, however it is very difficult to tell him apart from the others. They all look well but would come nowhere near us, however we feel better knowing he is in a compound and being fed.

2nd December 2010.

We brought seven carriers full of cats home today and the release went really well. Only one more cat in hospital now and we must stop for the holidays. We will resume again in the New Year once we have all our volunteers back.

Our Vet Dr. Wu and Nurse Wu with Coco (Dr. Wu’s dog)
Our Vet Dr. Wu and Nurse Wu with Coco (Dr. Wu’s dog)

Monday 6th December.Planning meeting today. We think we have about twenty more cats to TNR in the New Year. Our problem now is that we are concerned that we catch home cats as not all of them wear collars. We have sent out a plea to everyone via email to collar and tag their animals by January 10th when we hope to resume. We have one remaining cat in hospital; she is rather fond of chewing her wound so she needs an extra few days to recover. Our puppy “Zorro” also found a forever home today which is fantastic news. So that’s all from us until next year. We will leave you with a picture of a very happy released cat, our famous shop cat “Sweetie”. We hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a peaceful New Year J. 

Happy Sweetie

Happy Sweetie

TNR cats

TNR cats

Thank You!

Festive Season is near!

Festive Season is near!

Christmas Holiday List

Christmas Holiday List

Pooches on the move

Nanjing - pooches on the move

Nanjing - pooches on the move

Hundreds of volunteers line up yesterday along a makeshift corridor to help more than 1,500 stray dogs board buses in Nanjing, capital city of east China’s Jiangsu Province, as the dogs are taken to a new settlement operated by Nanjing Ping An A Fu Animal Shelter, a non-governmental organization devoted to protecting small animals. The dogs’ old shelter is to be dismantled due to redevelopment. With the help of volunteers and some of the city’s police officers, all the dogs were moved to their new home after about 10 hours.

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