14/02/2008 Year of the Dog

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New initiatives to help dogs and cats in this important year of the Chinese calendar


Dr. Dog "Little Tiger", makes a visit to a home for the elderly in Chengdu, China   Pet dog going to a restaurant
As we welcome in the Chinese New Year of the Dog, we have a golden opportunity to implement lasting change for the millions of dogs and cats in Asia who have been suffering for too long. Working to inspire new attitudes to companion animals, we are now seeing a massive groundswell of support from people across China who share our belief that dogs and cats are our friends...not food or fur. With the attention of both the local and national press within China and the international press focussing on the plight of dogs and cats. Dr. Eddie and Jill were part of the cover of new Guangzhou magazine "Citizen" - speaking out about our programmes to help our four legged friends, whilst also ensuring that their plight is never forgotten.

Building on the success of our "Dr. Dog" animal therapy programme in Chengdu (which now sees over 300 professional dog "doctors" in 6 countries in Asia visiting those in need), we are launching Dr. Dog in the southern city of Guangzhou (the dog and cat eating capital of China) where we have just opened an Animals Asia office. We are working tirelessly on new initiatives with animal lovers across the country to give dogs and cats a "voice".

One of the loudest voices is that of ex-market dog "Eddie"; Eddie's journey from "meat dog to Dr. Dog" is being told through the Animals Asia film "Dr. Eddie - Friend...or Food?" The film sees Chinese celebrities, doctors and even a chef, expressing disgust at dog eating and praising the unconditional love and companionship that dogs and cats give. An amazing 88,000 copies are in distribution with 41,000 video education packs of the film snapped up by pet clubs, schools, universities and local animal welfare groups. An influential pet magazine "Pet Life" will circulate another 47,000 copies across China in their March 2006 issue. Meanwhile lifesize boards of Chinese mega star Richie Jen (who dubbed Eddie's Mandarin voice in the film), are being distributed in Chengdu and Guangzhou, further promoting our positive message! You can watch a trailer online.

Building on the buzz that the distribution of the film has created amongst Mainland Chinese animal lovers, we are proud to announce that we will be hosting the first ever China Companion Animal Symposium in Guangzhou. Government officials and 50 leaders from countrywide animal groups will be joining together for the first time to address the many problems dogs and cats are facing in China, and we will be encouraging everyone present to raise their voices even louder and call for the end of dog and cat consumption and the equally despicable trade in their fur.

Additionally, Animals Asia is working hard on the political front: taking a stand at recent meetings with the Chinese Embassy in the UK and Government Departments in Guangzhou to keep dog and cat eating on the agenda. We also met with Heather Mills-McCartney in London to convey the positive message to her and Sir Paul that there is an exploding number of people in China who care just as passionately about dogs and cats and there is hope for change.

AAF investigators continue to monitor animal markets in China and the changing dynamics of this horrendous trade. Regular trips enable us to catalogue abuse and target areas where action is desperately needed, whilst increasing our understanding and progressing solutions to the sensitive issue of dog and cat eating.

We support a local veterinary group in Koh PhaNgan, Thailand, who are running a spay, neuter, release programme, reducing the risk of rabies and providing vital free veterinary services in an area where there have been none.

Animals Asia’s Dr. Dogs brand new role as professors: ‘Professor Paws’ teaches Chinese primary children about the importance of companion animals; compassion for all living creatures; safety around dogs and responsible pet care. The programme has gone from strength to strength and to date 1,258 children have graduated as Professor Paws Pet Cadets!

Please help us to continue our vital work, giving dogs and cats their voice as our friends and helpers and ensuring that every year can be the Year of the Dog!
Dr. Eddie & Jill - cover story in Guangzhou magazine "Citizen" promoting dogs and cats in the Year of the Dog
Cats in a market
Animals Asia Dr. Dog Educational Pack that is seeing 10's of 1,000s being distributed across China!
Professor Paws Pet Cadets in the making!


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