Liu Xu, a white-collar worker from Minhang, wanted a pet dog and was all set to go to a shop and buy one when he came across an Internet site from a volunteer team that rescues stray dogs and cats.
The team, called Jaiya’s Animal Rescue, or JAR, shelters homeless animals and tries to find adopted homes for them. The idea intrigued Liu.
JAR was established in March 2009 by Marvin Manalac, a Briton who has been living in Shanghai for almost seven years.
The organization was named in memory of his daughter Jaiya Kristina, who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in February of that year.
“I host animal adoption days twice each month to try and find our rescued animals permanent or foster homes,” Manalac said. “We ensure that all the animals are vaccinated, dewormed and deflead. We also ensure that they are neutered from the age of six months on.”
The locations of the pet adoption days are fixed every month. The next one will be held on September 1 at Papas Bierstube on Hongmei Road in Minhang District, from 11am-3pm. That will be followed by one on September 8 at Aini’s Bistro on Haining Road in the Hongkou District, from 1:30-4:30pm.
Manalac said he sees more local residents wanting to adopt pets. When he first started the volunteer group, the interest mostly came from expats and from passionate animal lovers.
To date, Manalac’s team has found homes for more than 900 strays. Adopting a pet is not difficult, but potential owners have to sign a pledge promising to care humanely for the new pet. If a foreigner adopts, a promise must be made to take the pet when returning to a home country.
Currently JAR has approx 10 volunteers and the numbers are growing. The group includes many students from international schools, such as Shanghai American School and Concordia.