Weng Xiaoping, formerly a renowned doctor in China, is spending her retirement caring for stray animals. In what may seem like an unthinkable act to most people, Weng sold two of her properties for 1.8 million yuan (almost $300,000) immediately after she retired and decided to use all that money to fund her new mission in life.
With the money in hand, Xiaopang moved to the mountainous village of Taipingqiao, near Huzhou city, to build a sanctuary for unwanted dogs and cats. In the past eight years, she has adopted and cared for hundreds of animals. She has also hired two assistants, using her pension of 7,000 yuan per month to pay them.
“These little animals need 18 buckets of rice for one meal and they eat up 50 kilograms of rice every day,” the 62-year-old told People’s Daily Online. “I have to spend over 7,000 yuan on food for them every month. Thanks to the volunteers and kind-hearted persons, I can sustain until now.”
But Weng Xiaoping’s self-funded animal rescue isn’t just about feeding stray animals. The place is a haven where cats and dogs no longer have suffer from diseases, abuse and slaughter.
For now, Xiaoping’s main concern is finding someone to take over the shelter when she gets too old to continue. She owns the lease to the land on which the sanctuary is built for the next 30 years, so she’s also concerned about what will happen when that time is up. “I have struggled for years to look after these stray animals,” she said. “I really hope that a competent and nice person will inherit the base from me when I am old one day.”
Weng Xiaoping is just one of the few truly dedicated Chinese animal welfare activists we’ve covered in recent years. 29-year-old Wang Yan used to be a millionaire, but spent his entire fortune caring for stray dogs, Yang Xiaoyun, a retired school teacher, travels thousands of miles across China rescuing strays from slaughter, while Grandma Bai has spent the last 17 years and all her life savings taking care of cats and dogs. And let’s not forget Ha Wenjin, a kindhearted woman who has given up her job, sold her house, car and jewelry to take care of over 1,500 dogs and 200 cats. These people are all heroes in my book.
Photos: Zhejiang Daily/Deng Dehua