Sunday, October 02, 2005

Missing your favorite street dog? Maybe it got shipped to the US!

I've been playing with Google's new blog search feature, and stumbled across this site about dogs rescued in Taiwan being shipped overseas to San Francisco, USA. No, I am not making this up:

We have had the pleasure of opening up our program to some wonderful deserving dogs rescused by the tireless rescuers in Taiwan. We have had a lot of support from potential adopters and adopters with our rescued dogs from Taiwan. The dogs from Taiwan are often times smaller in size then your average mixed breed dog and they make excellent city dogs.

There is always people who ask why rescue dogs from another country? Many people wonder why dogs from Taiwan are shipped over to other areas to find homes. The truth is that these dogs have little or no chance at being adopted in their own country. WDR believes in raising awareness for animal welfare on a global basis, not in just in our county or country. Another important aspect of taking dogs from Taiwan is the hope it leaves the rescuers there. The dogs they send here get top notch homes and it is a small way we can help them.

I think what we have here is a misapplication of resources....all that $$ and all they can do is ship street dogs from one country to another? Surely there are more urgent problems....

8 comments:

Jason said...

I suggest we start a "ship a Taiwan legislator to Ramadi" program.

menghsindy said...

Shipping Taiwanese street dogs overseas makes for a happy ending to some, and if there are people anywhere in the world willing to give Taiwanese strays a good home, I say good for them! I imagine the appeal of rescuing a poor, neglected stray from a country where you're told the indigenous population has no concept of charity for stray animals... makes the adoption even more personally rewarding for some. Which is how this site seems to frame the problem (i.e. "The truth is that these dogs have little or no chance at being adopted in their own country... The dogs they send here get top notch homes", implying they'd get substandard homes even if they were adopted here. Which is really too bad for Taiwan's image in the eyes of the world, but the truth is, there is a highly visible stray problem here that needs to be attacked from multiple angles.

Animals Taiwan is a wonderful organization that is trying to find multiple ways to address the problem. They're pretty active on Forumosa, and one thing they've been discussing is their Catch-Neuter-Release program, done with the help of local vets and other animal welfare groups. Perhaps that sounds like a more reasonable application of resources to you?

There are multiple ways to address the stray problem, and not all of them may sound financially efficient, but this group you link to acknowledges that it is only one small way to help. And they are building on the efforts of those in Taiwan, at least acknowledging them. What they're doing is easier than changing the laws or letting foreigners change local cultural attitudes, anyway.

Michael Turton said...

Yeah, but I look at all my working class students who don't have the $$ to visit the US and improve their English and expand their horizons, and then see the $$ wasted shipping superfluous dogs from one big city to another.... I see a GROSS misapplication of resources. The heart is sort of in the right place....but the resources would be better spent elsewhere.

menghsindy said...

Ah... so you're saying it's not worth addressing the problem -- at least in that way, or in any manner? -- when there are other, more immediately socially relevant/urgent ways that the money could be spent.

I suppose that's what happens when citizens are allowed to build their own civil society, yanow... ;) You get social organizations in all forms, channeling their resources and energies into whatever cause they feel worthy of promoting -- they see a problem and create an organization to solve it.

I think the relative cost of shipping a mutt overseas is drastically lower than sponsoring an international student or playing host to underprivileged tourists. They seem like entirely different issues that are addressed by different kinds of organizations. You may as well ask them why they're not rescuing starving babies and shipping them overseas, but it's not the same issue and requires a whole different set of resources.

At any rate, I'm not arguing whether or not it's a worthwhile program, but I will add that I think some, more fervent, animal lovers often reach a point where it's society vs. animals -- so they take the side of animals, since society can (rationally) take care of itself whereas animals can't. Ideally, there are more oganizations sending Taiwanese people as opposed to dogs on horizon-expanding journeys overseas... Tzu Chi (the Buddhist organization) has a bunch of programs. There must be others. My point here is that different organizations arise to address different needs, and in a flourishing civil society with such wealth relative to the rest of the world (such as the United States, where Wonder Dog is based), some organizations are bound to seem superfluous. Provided their intentions are humane, that variety is a point to be celebrated.

Anonymous said...

Hello: I got a dog from Taiwan and it is absolutely awesome.
In most cases a passenger traveling to the US will take the dog as luggage, reducing the cost. These are volunteer organizations that run on donations. These dogs are awesome as they are very aware, street smart, and protective. If I had the chance, I would get another.

Anonymous said...

In most cases a passenger traveling to the US, take the dogs as luggage, which reduces the cost. These organizations are run on donations, and I don't think our US government gets involved or has to pay anything. I have one of these dogs and it is absolutely a great dog, very aware, sensitve and street smart. If I had the chance I would get another.

Ludigel ("Bob Honest") said...

Well, as I often reported about Taiwan strays in my Taiwan blog http://globalforeigner.com, a few Taiwanese, wife and I now have our own rescue organization which is also shipping dogs and as a dog courier I have brought quite a lot to Germany.
If you think dogs are things and not beings with feelings it is a waste of money I guess. Depends on viewpoint and level of compassion.
http://stray-dogs.org
I must admit, shipping Taiwanese people to the US instead has not occurred to me (grin)

Anonymous said...

If you have a better solution to place the dogs that were rescued from the streets in Taiwan, please let us know.

It costs around USD $250 or less (fortunately China Airline do offer discounts for the rescue groups) to take a dog to US with volunteer travelers' help. A dog's life is about to last 10-15 year. If you place this dog in a sanctuary (not to mention most of the sanctuaries in Taiwan are pack with dogs), the cost will be much higher. Let's say we use the minimum, $20/month, to take care of one dog. 10 years will take $20/month * 12 months * 10 years = USD $2400. Which one costs more?

I would suggest you volunteer for those rescue groups in Taiwan if you are interested. When you dig deeper into the stray dog issue, you will understand there is a reason why they are doing this.... Please don't misjudge their intention before seeing the whole picture...