Buddhist monk who has rescued more than 8000 animals in Shanghai

In conjunction with the upcoming Wesak celebrations, we share this 2021 news report: https://www.intelligentliving.co/buddhist-monk-rescued-over-8000-animals-shanghai/

Photo credit: AFP/Hector Retamal

A 51-year-old Buddhist monk named Zhi Xiang has dedicated his life to rescuing and rehabilitating China’s stray dogs and cats, with the ultimate goal of placing them in forever homes with loving families. Beyond saving animals, Xiang’s mission is to embody the principles of his faith, setting a positive example of commitment and discipline to fellow Buddhists and serving as a spiritual guide for his community.

Dressed in his orange robes, Xiang has become an instantly recognizable figure on Shanghai’s streets. He hunts for injured, sick, and abandoned animals that he can take back to the rescue center at his Bao’en Temple, where he is the head monk.

According to AFP, he cares for roughly 8,000 dogs, 200 cats, and several peacocks, geese, and chickens. The animals live in the Bao’en Temple’s rehabilitation center and at a shelter in nearby Dagang, which he rents. Xiang provides the animals with food (approximately 60 tons of food per month) and primary medical care, such as immunizations.

This problem (below) in China sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Xiang points out that most abandoned animals were due to irresponsibility. He explained that China’s growing middle class led to a surge in ‘pet’ interest, but that enthusiasm – in many cases – wasn’t backed up by principles of responsible pet ownership.

In addition, some families may not comprehend the commitment that comes with owning a pet, and as a result, sometimes abandon the poor animals on the streets. What’s more, pet owners generally don’t spay or neuter their pets, inevitably leading to more strays. “This [situation] is not caused by people who dislike dogs, or by the government, but by so-called dog lovers who don’t have proper animal-caring knowledge,” he explained.

We have the same problem in our country too where many strays are either abandoned pets or the offspring of abandoned pets. 

Adopting a pet must be viewed and practised as having a child. It is a life-long responsibility. And if for some reason, the family cannot keep the pet anymore, then it falls upon them to find the pet a caring and loving new home.

 


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