Where to begin? Since writing my last blog on the updates of the events happening in Madam Yang’s life it has been a busy and in some cases a very emotional 3 and a half months. As reported in my last blog my small but dedicated team of volunteers called FriendsofYang whose Facebook page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/friendsOY/?fref=ts reported that vets were attending to the animals Madam Yang saved from the horror of the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin 2016. We were all delighted and elated that this lone woman with just two Chinese volunteers entered the dogmeat market and without any fuss or ceremony saved approximately 450 dogs and cats from certain death. The rescue was professionally carried out and all preparations for the animals welfare was arranged in advance for their journey to Tianjin. Gallons of water was taken to aid the animals on their arduous journey (it is extremely hot in Yulin in June) and the animals had many bathroom stops to quench their thirst and to be sprayed with a fine mist of cooling water. They were also provided with shade by netting which was placed above the animals cages and to the sides. Madam Yang unhappily reported that many of the animals were far too sick/and/or distressed to eat but at least they were taking on fluids.
After 2/3 days on the road Madam Yang arrived at her shelter with her new wards. Not surprisingly Madam Yang was shattered but she had no time to rest. Animals needed vetting, separating and settling into their new home. FriendsofYang got to work immediately. We organised a fundraiser through YouCaring and dedicated all our time promoting it. Donations started coming in but after a period of two short weeks I received the devastating news that Ellie from YouCaring decided to close down the fundraiser.
(Please note the link provided by Ellie is a BLOG and not a New York Times article)
To have the fundraiser closed at such short notice knowing so many animals needed our help was most upsetting to say the least. I responded by sending this email to Ellie:
Ellie’s reply to my email:
I was completely baffled that a donor had complained about the fundraiser that had been active for less than 2 weeks. I wanted more clarification and sent this email in reply:
Four months later and I am still waiting for the evidence.
FriendsofYang brushed themselves down after this serious blow and started a new fundraiser with Gofundme. I am sure the person/people who instigated the closing down of the YouCare fundraiser would also contact our new site, but so far they have been fruitless in their attacks and at the time of writing this blog the Gofundme fundraiser is still active. Big sigh of relief! However, this was posted on twitter a few days ago (which is a fake account used by No To Dog Meat supporter/spokesperson Alice Susan Harding) threatening to get the Gofundme fundraiser taken down. Please note the petition on Change.org has not been taken down and the link if you wish to sign is at the bottom of this blog.
So now we had a fundraiser up and running again so our immediate concern was getting vets to visit the poorly animals saved at this years Yulin. Donations sent to us by kind donors made this a reality and I personally cannot thank them enough. All the animals in Madam Yang’s care had full bellies compliments of our Japanese partners, and within days dogs and cats were being seen to on a regular basis by a local vet.
FriendsofYang were delighted with the progress made in helping these poor creatures, but just when we were all feeling relaxed and happy in the certainty that all the animals were being well cared for, disaster struck. Tianjin was hit by torrential storms; Madam Yang’s shelter was flooded and major damage was inflicted on its buildings. To say that my team were devastated when we received the pictures from Madam Yang of the damaged caused by the storm is an understatement. This certainly was a test of Madam Yang’s resilience and we could not let her down in her hour of need.
My team put out a plea for volunteers to help Madam Yang clean up her shelter but everyone in the vicinity and beyond was in the same dire situation. As days went on and more news filtered through it became clear what a dreadful natural disaster this was; people had lost their lives. But Madam Yang soldiered on like she always has and started organising the clean up doing most of the work herself as well as physically searching for dogs that had escaped when a wall collapsed. Luckily animals know when they are well looked after and many came back on their own accord. FriendsofYang had to make the heartbreaking decision to stop further vets visits and concentrate on funding the shelter itself. Sadly we did not have enough funds to continue both. So far we have managed to send payments for 2 new roofs (the roofs at Madam Yang’s shelter are huge), build a small pathway where Madam Yang slipped once, and we are now in the process of providing funds for a third roof.
Madam Yang is eternally grateful (as we all are at FriendsofYang) to the support shown by the general public not just in monetary terms but in the wonderful messages of love sent to her via the Facebook page and in pm’s. We have so much more to do, this is an ongoing project and none of this can be achieved without your help. Please visit our Facebook page and share our posts. All donations, no matter how small, are gratefully received and can be made via paypal at: firstname.lastname@example.org or at: https://www.gofundme.com/HelpMrsYangAnimals Please also sign this petition: https://www.change.org/p/investigate-the-uk-registered-charity-known-as-no-to-dog-meat-ntdm-aka-the-world-protection-of-dogs-and-cats-in-the-meat-trade Thank you all so very much from the bottom of my heart.