[Taiwan Spotlight] Shelters bring happiness to stray dogs with frequent walks and fresh food

一張含有 哺乳類 的圖片


It is not easy for public shelters with limited manpower and resources to provide walks and fresh food 3 times a week for dogs. The World Dog Alliance (WDA) strives to bring joy to these stray dogs.

Photo: New Taipei City Government Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office

It is always uplifting to see a shelter being able to find new homes for all stray cats and dogs. However, in reality this is rarely the case. Sometimes it would take years for stray animals to get adopted, if ever. Recently, a public animal shelter in Taiwan tries its best to bring happiness to its dogs.

In 2019, New Taipei City, which was ranked the top by the WDA’s “Animal Friendly City Index Report”, is sparing no efforts to advance animal welfare despite its established recognitions, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, the New Taipei City Government Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office (the Office) is widely praised for implementing “Animal Home (shelter) 333”.

“333” implies each dog enjoys 3 days of exercise cageless and 3 days of fresh food to solve 3 behavioral problems of stray dogs.

Free roaming exercise used to be available thanks to assistance by volunteers, but the number of volunteers has sharply declined during the pandemic, and non-staff has later been prohibited from entering the shelters. The dogs’ future seemed grim before the 333 measure was enforced in March this year. Yang Shufang, the head of the Office, sees the COVID-19 as a new opportunity.

As the public is prohibited from visiting, shelter staff can now focus on caring for the dogs, which enjoy more walking and more exercise with additional time and land available. Long leashes can now be used so the dogs may walk more freely. Tan Shui Animal Home even enjoys the geographic advantage of taking their dogs to the beach to fully enjoy sand walking and wave chasing.

Shelter dogs having fun in the beach in Tan Shui

Fresh food and snacks used to be exclusive to family pets. Now the New Taipei Shelter is providing 3 days of fresh food, a mouth-watering diet consisting of vegetables, minced meat and eggs, on a weekly basis. The new diet allows the dogs to consume adequate nutrition.

According to the record of the Office, adopted dogs are abandoned again for three main reasons: uncontrolled barking, biting and defecation. To correct these behaviors, one-to-one sessions provided by dog trainers is the only way. Some timid dogs become friendly enough for adoption after finishing the leash training.

To conclude, it might be difficult to shorten the waiting time for stray dogs, but we can at least make the waiting enjoyable and make them more likely to be adopted. As always, the WDA strives to advocate the welfare of dogs.

Editor’s note:

  1. The Office manages a total of 8 Animal Homes for 1464 animals as of May 2021.

In 2019, four cities were ranked by “the Animal Friendly City Index Report”, they are Taipei City and New Taipei City in Taiwan, Kyoto and Fukuoka in Japan.