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Thirteen stray dogs bound for new homes in U.S.

2010/12/12 20:49:54

Kaohsiung, Dec. 12 (CNA) Thirteen dogs have boarded a flight tothe United States to find new homes there, in the latest attempt tosave some of Taiwan's many stray dogs, animal rescue workers saidSunday.

The dogs were rescued from southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung City,where they were found to have been abused or suffering fromillnesses, rescue workers said. The dogs were first taken by trainfrom Kaohsiung to Taipei before boarding the flight.

There were sad stories behind every abused dog, said rescueworker Chang Ya-hui, who led four volunteers of the non-profit AnimalRescue Team Taiwan, to accompany the dogs on the train.

For example, she said, Andrew, one of the dogs who will be sentto Seattle, was covered with insect bites when he was found inLinyuan Township, while Irene, another abused dog who lost her eyesight, had suffered from serious skin diseases.

The group of U.S.-bound dogs also included eight puppies thatwere abused by foreign migrant workers and were later rescued from anoyster harbor, Chang said.

While an increasing number of Taiwanese people have become awareof the need to help stray animals, the adoption rate is still low,putting pressure on animal shelters with limited budgets to care forthe dogs.

It is hoped that by taking the dogs to shelters in the U.S.,their chances of being adopted will increase.

Since 2004, the rescue team has carried out more than 200 suchcases, flying a total of 1,470 animals rescued in Taiwan to NorthAmerica, by cooperating with similar organizations in the U.S andCanada.

( By Chang Che-fon and Maia Huang)