Twenty years ago, Wen Junhong saved an abandoned dog from the streets of Chongqing in southwestern China. Now, she saved 1,300 others and are staying in her home.
Since her first saved puppy, whom she later on called Wenjing, which means “gentle and quiet” in Chinese, Wen said she could not stop saving the others because of her worry that the strays could face accidents on the streets, or worse, be snatched up for dog meat trade.
“It’s important to look after these dogs,” she told AFP. “Each of us should respect life, and the Earth is not only for humans but for all animals.”
Communist China’s founder Chairman Mao banned dog ownership during his leadership, but the views on animal companions changed drastically in the following years, and ownership has boomed. However, China still does not have any national animal welfare law, according to charity Animals Asia.
The 68-year-old animal lover also lives with 100 cats, four horses, and a number of rabbits and birds.
She said rehoming the stray animals is a challenge.
“It’s really very hard,” she said. “There are more and more dogs and each of them gets less space.”