A Phone Conversation with Ms. Xiaoyun Yang, Tianjin Common Home for Stray Animals

I had a very heartbreaking yet inspiring phone conversation with Ms. Xiaoyun Yang last night. Some people label her as an extremist; I say she is a true animal lover, a determined activist, and a brave fighter! She is someone who deeply is deserving of the highest respect!
She cried for the animal cruelty that she had witnessed, and how impossibly difficult it is for anyone to fight for animal welfare in China.  I could hear a deep pain in her voice.
One of the stories that Ms. Yang told me on the phone, was about the city owned animal pounds in Tianjin.   Animal pounds in China are living hells for all of the animals that tragically end up there.  There are two pounds in her city.  Ms. Yang says the animals (mostly dogs) in the pounds consist of not only stray dogs captured off the street, but also many dogs with collars that are clearly someone’s pet.  In the pounds, dogs are not given food or water let alone the medical treatment needed by the many sick and injured animals.   Animals die every day in the pounds, and their bodies are simply left to lie among the other dying dogs.  Sometimes the starving and desperate dogs even fed on the flesh of the dead dogs in an attempt to survive.  Ms. Yang’s many requests and attempts to feed these dogs were challenged, laughed at, and usually denied.  She had to go on a hunger protest and publicly threaten her own life just to get the police to let her feed the dogs.
Behind all of these horrific acts, the darkest truth of all is that the local police department is involved in selling the pound animals to dog/cat meat traders!  Ms. Yang watches the pound very closely to make sure that the police doesn’t transport the animals to meat traders.   She said that they usually transport the animals at night, when it’s not easily seen by the public.
After her continuous protests, lobbying and fights that put herself in life-threatening danger,  she finally won custody of over 400 dogs in one of the two city owned animal pounds.  Now the number of animals under her care has jumped to more than 1,500 after saving all of the animals in the pound.  She said that she is now fighting for the custody of animals in the other pound.
She literally fights with her life for those animals, against both dog/cat meat traders and local authorities. Putting her own life and well-being on the line has become her only “weapon” when it comes to fighting against the corrupt local authorities for the sake of the animals.  The magnitude of her bravery is matched only by the breadth of the government’s disgrace!
When Ms. Yang confronted the local authorities and police department to save the animals, they said to her,

 “Why are you doing this? They are just a bunch of animals. ”

She replied,

“We are all animals. Why do you think your lives are any different from these lives? The only difference is that they can’t speak for themselves!”

The authorities continually claimed that her protests are not legal and that what they do is not a crime.  They base their argument in the fact that animal cruelty laws do not exist in China.
Her response to such comments is

“There are no Animal Cruelty Laws in this country, but the will and interests of so many people who love and protect these lives are your guidance to do the right thing; it is the moral law!”

I cannot believe the incredible strength of both body and spirit that comes from this 63 year-old woman.  She has been fully committed to this fight every day for the past 18 years since her husband died, and she has never once looked back.   She is grateful for all of the support that she has received.  In spite of her successes, however, she knows that there will never be any long term protections for animals without more people getting behind this cause.
I asked her about her health. She told me that she had cold few days ago, but she is feeling great now.
I told her that eating a meal a day is not going to help her, and she really needs to eat 3 meals a day. She said that she really doesn’t have time to eat, or a lot of times she just simply forgets to eat.
I asked her to really take care of herself. She said that she will, because she know that she must stay strong in order to continuously fight for these animals…
Ms. Yang said to me,

“This is my calling. I won’t have another 63 years of life, but I will fight for these animals as long as I live.”

Common Home has just moved again, as its previous location has been demolished. Ms. Yang moved the shelter and all of the animals back to her old location which is smaller and also under city’s demolish plan.  Ms. Yang desperately needs to find a new location for all of the animals.
- Lucy FACLC
April 5th 2013

There are the things you can do to help Ms. Yang and her animals:

1. SHARE AND JOIN! Share Ms. Yang’s story with as many people as you can. Join and share our FB page to let more people to learn the truth about animal rights movement in China and keep a growing number of people involved in the cause.
2. PUBLICITY! Write to as many public media outlets as you can in your country! Mainstream media outlets, animal rights and welfare organizations, celebrities…anyone/anything you can think of that might take this story into the spotlight! Ms. Yang needs the protection that can only be afforded by an increasingly public profile.  Any and all help to get her name, mission, and work out into the world by the media or other publicity is desperately needed.  She is very likely in life-threatening danger due to the countless conflicts and run-ins that she has had with the vicious and ruthless meat traders.   They have already threatened and menaced her multiple times in response to her rescue efforts.  
3. SIGN THE PETITION! Please sign all of these petitions http://wgapc.org/petitions/ and share with as many people as you can! We need your help to make the Chinese government to establish Animal Cruelty Laws.
4.  DONATE to Ms. Yang. Donation Information for Common Home

Direct Bank Wire Transfer to Ms. Xiaoyun Yang 

Bank Name: Commercial Bank of China (中国工商银行)

Bank Account City: Tianjin (开户城市-天津)

Bank Account No.: 0302845001009282956
Account Name:  Ai Yun YANG (杨爱云) 

Xiaoyun Yang’s Cell Phone: 13164073263

WGAPC obtained the above information from Ms. Xiaoyun Yang herself.
Please be aware that Ms.Yang does not have any other bank accounts or contact numbers aside from what’s listed above.  

(Recently, a local TV station called “City Report 60 Minutes 都市报道60分” did an interview with Ms. Xiaoyun Yang in the name of raising awareness of and some funds for the Common Home.  It turned out to be an utter shameless scandal — The phone number that the City Report provided to the public does not belong to Ms. Yang or anyone that associates with her or the shelter. Consequently, Ms. Yang has never received any donations since the story went live on TV. The City Report has not yet responded to Ms. Yang and many volunteers’ questions.)

Donation Via WGAPC 

For your convenience, as well as minimizing the cost of international bank transfers, you may donate to Ms. Yang through WGAPC. All the fund collected will be wired to Ms. Yang directly, and will also be fully and publicly accounted for on WGAPC Facebook page.

Please please feel free to contact me if you have more ideas or resources to help Ms. Yang in her incredible life’s work. 

2 responses to “A Phone Conversation with Ms. Xiaoyun Yang, Tianjin Common Home for Stray Animals

  1. What an inspiration this lady is to us all, especially those who profess to love their own dogs and cats, but who turn away so easily from those in desperate need. It requires so little effort to 'click' a petition online, or send an email yet so few will bother. Ms Yang has my admiration for soldiering on in the face of such apathy.

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