About 100 dogs in southern Chinese city of Yulin owe their lives to a woman, Yang Xiaoyun, a retired school teacher and an animal advocate. Xiaoyun paid about $1,100 to save from the annual dog meat festival on Saturday, June 20, 2015.
65-year-old Xiaoyun, according to AFP reports, travelled 1,500 miles to Yulin from her home in Tianjin to secure the dogs. She has reportedly been rescuing stray animals since 1995 when she pulled an almost drowning and abandoned kitten from a river. She launched her dog and cat sanctuary called the “Common Home for All” in 1999.
Xiaoyun has also sold her home so she can take in more animals which she houses in a rented space. She refers to the animals as her children and prepares their meals. Her shelter houses almost 1,500 dogs and 200 cats.
The Yulin dog meat festival dates back to 2009 although there is a historical precedent for the festival in China. Xianoyun’s selfless act has been commended by international observers and activists. The festival,which coincides with the summer solstice, each year claims the lives of about 10,000 dogs.
She is reported to be gearing to open another sanctuary in Yulin.
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