There's very little awareness for animal welfare in Shanghai. That's not just the locals, expats are also a big problem. Some people are careless and don't properly leash their animals. Others abandon their pets when they leave the city. Animal Wisdom, formerly known as "SOS Animal Protection", works to solve these issues and advance animal welfare through education, medical support, and population control.
Read on to hear the good work that they're doing.
Animal Wisdom began SOS Animal Protection in 2012, working as a rescue group that focused on animals with special conditions such as disabilities, sicknesses, or severe malnutrition. But founder Elisabet Sierra Bermejo discovered that despite the number of animals they rescued and found new homes, there were more being discarded every day.
"We thought it would be easy, but it wasn't. We started to get a lot of bills. We didn't have enough donors and we had to pay from our own pocket. In a month I had 9 cats and six dogs in my house." - Elisabet Sierra Bermejo
Elisabet has since restarted the organization as Animal Wisdom to tackle the issue of homeless pets at the roots. They have over 300 people in their WeChat group and about 60 active members, of which 15 are core members that are involved with rescues, events, and animal awareness.
What They Do
Animal Wisdom's new direction turns towards a combination of initiatives increase awareness and improve the lives of animals in Shanghai.
Animal Wisdom doesn't take rescue requests simply because they don't have the resources (no one does). But they do help individuals who want to rescue an animal themselves. Animal Wisdom provides the individual with information on best practices and veterinarian discounts to get the animal neutered and vaccinated. In some cases, if the animal requires expensive medical treatment, Animal Wisdom will help fundraise for the bill. But at the end of the day, the responsibility of the animal is on the person who has decided to perform the rescue.
TNR stands for Trap Neuter and Release. The main goal of TNR is to decrease the number of homeless cats on the streets. The problem with feeding animals that aren't neutered is that it results in an even bigger homeless animal population down the line. If the captured cat is not wild, Animal Wisdom will try to find it a home. But if the neighborhood is animal-friendly, then Animal Wisdom releases it again in the same place. They currently do TNRs a couple times a year, but they hope to expand that with animal-friendly compounds.
Animal Wisdom promotes animal education in several ways. They're currently working on a program to promote animal education in schools so that children can learn about the proper treatment of animals at an early age. They're also working to create animal-friendly compounds that incorporate TNR. Animals in the compound are neutered, then released so that the population is controlled, residents are educated about the proper way to feed animals to keep the compound clean, and the compound managers agree to certain terms and conditions to maintain animal welfare.
They do events every two months or so, consisting of adoption days and flea markets to fundraise for medical costs. During the events, they give out pamphlets to educate people about leashing your dog, registering with the police to get a dog license, the procedure on taking your pet with you to your next destination, and what happens when you abandon your pet. Most fundraising events are to help a specific animal with a condition or fund trusted private animal shelters. For donations, Animal Welfare can provide a fapiao from the vet or other services used for the animal they are supporting.
How to Get Involved
Anyone can get involved with Animal Wisdom, and that includes other animal organizations who can join their adoption and flea market events. Individuals can get involved by volunteering to help at an event, designing flyers, providing translation, and much more. To learn more about what you can do to help Animal Wisdom's cause, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out their website for updates on their latest events and projects.
Animal Wisdom is SmartTicket's charity partner for May 2107. When you purchase tickets with SmartTicket, you also have the option to donate 10rmb or more, all of which directly goes to fund Animal Wisdom's charitable endevors. You should do that. Every little bit helps. IT will get you into heaven. Promise.