This has been an extremely difficult year for everyone, including the animal welfare community. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more essential that SPCA International show up to help solutions-oriented rescue and shelter groups across the globe. Today, I want to share the story of one exceptional group, Furry Angels Haven in Wuhan, China.
Furry Angels Haven has been saving animals’ lives long before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The animal-loving founders, Xenia and Li, supported the organization from their own pockets. They duo kept most rescued dogs and cats at their shelter for just a short time, with their focus on finding the animals overseas forever homes.
Thankfully, with so much travel between China and the rest of the world, it was simple to find flight volunteers willing to add an animal carrier to their baggage and safely deliver dogs and cats to waiting families.
Unfortunately, as COVID-19 hit Wuhan, Furry Angels Haven lost the lease on their shelter. They were forced to close the shelter’s doors, leaving them no choice but to bring the rescued dogs and cats into a small apartment while they looked for a new shelter location.
As Xenia and Li frantically searched for a new shelter, Wuhan went into lockdown and they were completely stuck. Compounding the situation, the cases of animal abandonment began to rise rapidly during this tough time. Many pet owners were out of town and couldn’t return, so pet caretakers left dogs and cats on the streets to fend for themselves. Other pets were left behind because their owners were hospitalized or had passed away from COVID-19.
Between animal meat vendors and police who were instructed to kill strays, dogs and cats were at extreme risk. Knowing that certain death awaited animals left on the streets, Xenia and Li scrambled to rescue as many dogs and cats as possible. During the most difficult time, the two found themselves personally supporting the needs of 67 dogs and 40 cats out of one small apartment.
The love and compassion that Xenia and Li have shown towards animals is undeniable. The SPCA International team is thrilled that we were able to provide Furry Angels Haven with a grant to help them build a new shelter.
The shelter is set in a beautiful and safe location on former farm land. The animals in their care have access to food, water and love from their caretakers, so much more than they had on the streets. They currently have 180 dogs and 40 cats in their care, all looking for their forever homes.
I’m thrilled to share a tour of their new facility with you!