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A heart for stray animals
Wednesday,  Apr 11, 2018,23:25 (GMT+7)

A heart for stray animals

“I wish I had my own house to take care of the abandoned cats and dogs and didn’t have to move to another house every Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday,” Tran Uyen Nhu says in Tuoi Tre about her difficulties at present.

Nhu, 27, has joined the Sai Gon Time cats and dogs rescue team since August 2015. “The team was launched by another person, with an aim to provide care for abandoned cats and dogs. Due to personal reasons, many members have left, leaving the team now with only three members, including me, Khanh, and Thuan,” Nhu says.

The young girl, a resident of HCMC, is currently taking care of 85 dogs and 45 cats in two houses in districts 6 and Binh Chanh.

According to Nhu, it costs VND10-15 million (US$440-660) per month to take care of the animals. The money comes from her wedding studio and support from maecenas.

“They eat about eight kilos of rice per day. Two Huskies that I have just adopted eat raw chicken only,” Nhu says of the difficulties. 

All of the animals have their own names, like Cat Tuong, Dong Tao, Dom or Nam, based on their stories or habits, and they sleep inside little metal cages.

Everyday, Nhu and two other members in turn feed and bathe the animals, and clean up the houses.

Talking about her nearly three years taking care of the dogs and cats, Nhu reckons: “There have been many difficulties, especially the lack of money. Sometimes, I have to borrow money from my mom and dad.”

Nhu says some of the animals were found abandoned by their owners and wandering on the streets. Some are blind and others suffer from amyotrophy or serious injuries.

The team can treat cats and dogs suffering insignificant injuries. However, those with serious injuries must be taken to veterinarians, with treatment cost sometimes amounting to nearly VND50 million.

“One of the most memorable rescue was when I traveled hundreds of kilometers from the city to Ca Mau Province to save a couple of German shepherds. Their owner intended to sell the male dog to a slaughterhouse, but his mate resolutely followed him, so both of them were sold,” Nhu recalls.

The love for stray dogs and cats has even had a certain impact on Nhu’s own happiness.

“I and Khanh have known each other for 10 years. We intended to marry last year but then used the money we had saved to take care of our cats and dogs,” Nhu talks about her own story.

Although the wedding was delayed, Nhu and Khanh are happy when they spend time together taking care of abandoned animals. Treating the cats and dogs like sons and daughters, they have prepared vests and dresses for them to take part in their future wedding party.

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