China’s mega-cities house millions of abandoned dogs and cats. Most do not last long due to accidents, illnesses, or sadly, starvation. Others are put down by police, ABC NEWS Australia previously reported.
Zhi Xiang, a 51-year-old Buddhist monk, is garnering international praise and recognition for helping save the lives of thousands of abandoned and stray dogs from Shanghai streets.
Driven by his faith, Xiang has been rescuing animals since 1994. His Bao’en Temple monastery and nearby animal shelter currently house nearly 8,000 dogs.
Housing and feeding unwanted animals don’t come cheap. Xiang estimates that it costs nearly $2.5 million annually for supplies and labor, and he needs about 60 tons of dog food every month. Most if not all of it is funded by handouts and donations.
Using social media to find and reach out to prospective pet owners, Xiang and his team of volunteers have successfully resettled hundreds of dogs overseas. 300 dogs have so far been adopted by families in Germany, Canada, and the United States.
If Karma rewards those who sacrifice their own time and wealth to help alleviate the suffering of animals, that which Xiang awaits in his afterlife is more significant than anyone can imagine, and rightly so.