Vice President experiences volunteer work at animal shelter: urges people to adopt, not buy pets

Vice President William Lai (賴清德) spent time working as a volunteer at a Taiwan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA) shelter for homeless dogs in Ruifang District, New Taipei City this morning, January 10.

After experiencing various aspects of volunteer work, VP Lai called on the public to adopt pets, rather than purchasing them, and to help homeless pets find a warm and loving home.

Because the shelter is located in a relatively remote mountain area, it faces challenges finding sufficient volunteers to care for the animals, the TSPCA said. Noting that some of the animals may live at the shelter for many years, a lack of manpower means that the animals can not spend as much time out of their cages as they should.

Therefore, the group specially invited Lai to be a one day volunteer, and get some practical experience of the day to day care of the animals, in the hope of encouraging more people to volunteer.

After a briefing by shelter staff on the day to day care of the animals and duties of volunteers, Lai interacted with some of the dogs, and took one for a walk. The process was filmed in order to make a promotional video urging people to adopt a stray, instead of buying pets.

After performing the volunteer work, Lai spoke of his experience as Mayor of Tainan City, during which time, the municipality was the first in Taiwan to implement a zero culling policy. An audit of stray animals was made, and a budget set to implement a trap, neuter, vaccinate, and release program.

Lai said that at the time, he also performed voluntary work, assisting in training stray dogs to increase their chance of being adopted.

Since that time, other county and city governments have implemented similar policies.

Vice President William Lai interacts with dogs at an animal shelter in Ruifang District, New Taipei City, January 10, 2021. Picture: Presidential Office.
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