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在SCMP(Young Post)Monday March 27-2006

文章題目:Guardian Angel

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  • Tam
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    1 十年 前
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    SCMP Young Post - Guardian angel - March 27 2006

    圖片參考:http://wisesearch.wisers.net/wisesearch/images/cle...

    People who are dumping their pets because of bird flu fears are over-reacting, says an animal carer.

    Jennie Fung, founder, manager and the only full-time staff member of the non-profit Lamma Animal Welfare Centre, describes such dumping as heartlessness.

    To make her point, Fung rolls up her sleeves to reveal marked arms.

    "I've been scratched by cats several times, but I get injections and am very careful with them," she says.

    "I think people are over-reacting when they think their pets may have the virus."

    In the three years since it was set up, the Yung Shu Wan-based centre has rescued 89 cats, 91 dogs and a rabbit, and found homes for most of them.

    Rescued dogs and cats are taken into the clinic for health checks, injections and, where necessary, sterilisation to prevent population explosions.

    Then posters are displayed around the island and information posted on the centre's website in search of people who want to adopt pets.

    Fung says the aim was also to have a healthy pet population because sick animals can be a threat to all the animals on the island.

    "There were lots of complaints about that before. The dead bodies of dogs and cats were threatening the beauty of the island. The fast-growing number of homeless animals also used to be a headache for the community," she says.

    Now, after seeing the number of homeless animals successfully brought under control, residents are very supportive of the centre, donating books and accessories, and helping to raise funds.

    "I usually get calls from local people telling me they have found an abandoned dog or cat somewhere. I've been woken at 6am by a man who wanted to adopt a dog," Fung says.

    The centre takes care of animals that are not adopted quickly and is currently home to five dogs and two cats, among them Patricia, a black female dog, who has been there for almost two years.

    "She was found abandoned outside our thrift shop after Christmas 2004. Nobody wants to adopt her. I guess she was abused by her owner because she is still afraid of strangers."

    The animals' food and medical expenses can be a major expense for a non-profit organisation which relies mainly on donations and selling pet accessories to finance its operations.

    A Be-My-Sponsor programme was introduced recently to help raise funds. By paying $50 a month, people can sponsor an animal and spend time with it. Fung says an average of $5,000 to $6,000 is received each month under the programme, most of which goes on medical bills.

    But people who want to adopt pets from the centre have to first undergo careful screening.

    "I have a talk with them before they can take an animal, just to see if I think they'll be good pet owners.

    "The average lifespan of a dog is more than 10 years. Will the new owners be good to them all that time? It is a responsibility and a long-term commitment."

    Fung has made her own commitment to the animal welfare centre.

    "I really enjoy what I'm doing. I'm sure this will be my lifetime career."

    For information about how to adopt or sponsor a pet, visit www.lammaanimals.org

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