Woman makes life quest out of saving dogs from slaughter

Updated: 2014-06-24 22:15

By HOU LIQIANG (chinadaily.com.cn)

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A woman who participated in a dog-rights protest in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, during Saturday's lychee dog meat festival, has acquired debt of 700,000 yuan ($112,000) from picking up and raising strays.

Yang Yuhua, 64, from Chongqing, spent 2 million yuan raising dogs. Her husband divorced her for adopting too many.

Woman makes life quest out of saving dogs from slaughter

Yang Yuhua (R, front) and a woman surnamed Zhao tried to put dogs she bought in the Dashichang market into cages. The dog lovers spent a total of 16,000 yuan to buy about 50 dogs on Friday. [Photo by Hou Liqiang/chinadaily.com.cn] 

On the summer solstice, which fell on June 21 this year, local residents of Yulin typically celebrate with dog-meat hotpot, lychee fruit and liquor. At least 10,000 dogs are eaten during a typical festival.

Yang bought more than 130 dogs from the city before the festival, hoping to save as many dogs as possible from being slaughtered and eaten. She transported them to a stray shelter she built in Chongqing.

By 2003, Yang had adopted more than 100 animals. Three years later, her family's hotpot restaurant could no longer support her passion, so she started to borrow money from friends.

Yang's friend, who gave her name only as Zhao, said Yang now houses more than 600 dogs and is in debt of 700,000 yuan. About 200,000 yuan of that is from usurious loans, Zhao said.

Zhao said Yang became a dog lover after a stray dog helped her catch a thief who tried to break into her hotpot restaurant.

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