Chinese woman incurs $69,000 debt providing shelter to 2,400 cats, dogs

Chinese woman incurs $69,000 debt providing shelter to 2,400 cats, dogs
via Weibo
Bryan Ke
23 days ago
A Chinese woman found herself knee-deep in debt after declining her daughter’s offer of a life in the United States to continue her mission of sheltering stray cats and dogs in China.
Key points:
  • Dong Shuzhen, 66, from Jinan, a city in Shandong province, has been running a shelter for stray cats and dogs for over 15 years. She currently cares for 2,400 dogs and 70 cats at her facility in a rural area, whom she reportedly treats like her own children.
  • Dong has accumulated a massive debt amounting to 500,000 yuan ($69,000) over the years.
The details:
  • Speaking to Chinese media, Dong, who used to own a clothing store, revealed that she began feeding stray dogs and cats even before she embarked on her mission.
  • She also revealed that her daughter had offered her a life in the U.S., adding that she already has her visa. However, the animals are keeping her from making the decision. She said, “If I left, how would they live? I will continue to adopt homeless animals for as long as conditions allow. Every dog and cat has its own story and name.”
  • Dong shared that running the shelter costs her about 1,800 yuan ($249) per day, which has led to her accumulating a massive debt. Additionally, she has to pay the 11 workers at her facility.
  • The high maintenance cost and lack of funding have forced Dong to relocate her animal shelter multiple times, with the most recent move being her fourth relocation.
  • Dong’s story gained attention in 2021 when her debt was still around 300,000 yuan ($41,000), and she only had 1,700 stray dogs. At that time, Dong admitted that she was already on the “path of no return.”
Online reactions:
  • Several Weibo users commended Dong for her sacrifice, with one user commenting in one Weibo post, “Sincerely admire good people, may they have peace and safety throughout their lives.”
  • Another Weibo user wrote, “Grateful for her presence, otherwise it would be even more dangerous for so many dogs to roam around. Thank you, kind elder sister.”
  • Meanwhile, one user commented in another post, “The elder sister is a living Bodhisattva in this world, the protector of stray animals.”
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