Stray dogs, staying dogs


Where there are demolitions, there are stray dogs. Starting from Qing Hai Ying 3 years ago, stray dogs left in the reconstruction areas become common scenes in Beijing. While their owners move on to new lives in new homes, sadly these once beloved dogs are left behind, facing the rubbles of the old home as well as their unforeseeable future.

Last year, Rui Jia (瑞家), a rescue team for stray animals made a clip called “The watch keep in ruins”(废墟中的守望), telling the sad stories of those pets abandoned in Qing He Ying, a reconstruction area in Chaoyang District, Beijing. “The dogs are abandoned because of demolition, they may be cooked once get caught.”said a villager in the clip.

This year, Beijing will have over 50 suburban villages demolished, which means even more pets will be abandoned. It is a fact, and heavy. Most volunteers feel that their abilities fall short of their wishes to help:to save, but they don’t have enough people and resources to support the ongoing rescue; not to save, but those creatures are also lives.


Its name is Cang Cang. Sitting in this roofless high land like a statue, Cang Cang looks and looks and looks at its old home’s ruin opposite. It would not step away from the spot, sometimes its tired eyes will gaze at the passers-by. When evening falls or rain drops, it crunches into the pieces of asbestos tiles behind.


Without home, this doggy doesn’t know where it belongs.


After the demolition of home, Xiao Xiong went out for food at day time and come back to "keep the home” at night. A neighbor sympathized it and kept it home for a few months until later she had to move away too. Then another family took Xiao Xiong in, but it managed to go back to its original home. No one saw it again. Volunteers was told that it was bitten to death by a big dog. May be this is its fate, to live and die along with its home. May be in its heart, it believes there is only one home, and one owner.


For some reason, these two became friends around the ruins.


Owner moved during Xiao Hua’s pregnancy. She gave birth to her doggies in the very place in the world that she felt safe – home, which is later bulldozed together with the doggies. Xiao Hua kept lingering around the ruins since then. She would go and watch door at night for those who give her meals. Temporarily she was taken in by a kind family.

4 5

Later there came a yellow little dog and white kitten, to whom Xiao Hua exerted love and care out of her unfinished motherhood.


March 28th, volunteer received a text massage from the family that kept Xiao Hua temporarily: the household next door have moved, and the house was down, the dog lives in the old kang(炕), still adorable, just a little dirty because of the ashes, take him away please.


Though full of ashes and dusts from kang, the dog still had clear eyes. It was frightened by the sudden lost of home and family, but after volunteers played with it with sausage, it began to lighten up and bite straws to play around. On the way to the base however, it thrown up ashes: all these days it had been feed on the ashes from the kang because it is too intimidated to leave the spot.


During the search of the dog living in kang, volunteers stumbled upon another intimidated black dog hiding among the ruins of the house that was torn down 2 days ago.


Black Huan Huan, a dog taken in temporarily by the family at the mouth of the village.For the time before they move, Black Huan Huan served as a door keeper for the family. After that it could have been transferred to a stable home by volunteers as everybody wished had not for the moving truck that ran over its body. It was just 3 days away before Black Huan Huan can be transferred.


Old Black is always this cowing and frightened. It was cornered and anaesthetized before people can bring it away.


Xiao Cai’s doggies were also buried in the ruins which was why she wouldn’t left. As a dog that has never been adopted or offered meals, she lives through these several months, a true miracle. Volunteers tried to take her away but she always flashed out of sight in seconds.


On this winter day, volunteers met her again. She was pregnant again, her tongue turned purple. In such cold days, water is frozen and food is hard to find. The living prospect seems quite minor for her and her babies. But volunteers couldn’t manage to get closer. And Xiao Cai disappeared for good from the ruins afterwards.


Xiao Huang was transferred to the recycle collecting tenant by the landlord. Volunteers proposed in vain to have Xiao Huang sterilized in case it delivers more doggies that could be abandoned when the family move. Later, Xiao Huang gave birth to 5 doggies which the family asked volunteers to take away. However, new born doggies need to be feed by their mother, the family then suggested to lease Xiao Huang at a price of 300 yuan.


Volunteers help villagers to have their dogs sterilized, still some families will reject to do so even they clearly state that dogs stay while they move, thus doggies keep coming to this cruel world, in groups.


Wooden house made by volunteers.


Black Girl was also pregnant. She was sold to volunteers as meat for 100 yuan by her owner, which apparently was something she could not comprehend otherwise she should not have found a chance to broke lose and run back to its owner.




Demolitions carry on, the city’s moving forward, why left them behind?

(Source from  Photos by 昔音)

  1. People think dogs are really cute, so they go out and buy one. Then they find out there is a responsibility and cost associated with the animal, so they leave them to fend for themselves. Pretty sad and irresponsible.

    1. These dogs were never loved. If so the family wouldn’t have left them. They are simply born stray dogs. Especially if the house got knocked down, no one was taking care of them at all.

      John dogs are capable of living without humans way after humans go by by. They are animals that can eat shit and live to bark another day. Dogs and cats are cute rats. They go where the food is which happens to be where humans stay.

        1. Awwwww, you mad because you want a doggy but can’t afford one.Go outside and just pick one out, no one is going to miss it. Why would you buy a dog with all the stray puppies roaming around? Cry me a fucking river dude. If anything this is a bad case of animal control. There are plenty stray dogs where I come from and they end up in the fucking dog pound for a limited time before they get executed.

          Im an avid dog lover the who would never leave even my dying dog to stray. Loved animals don’t run away from their owners, loving owners don’t just let their dogs run a stray. They were born stray and will more than likely die by getting ran over, because no one wants these dirty, retarded dogs. But the puppies are another story they can be molded into great pets.

    2. Admit it. You fantasize about smacking their owners silly. I know I do. Actually, in New Zealand this kind of neglect is invariably just one manifestation of a generally rotten personality. People who neglect pets are almost without exception venal, untrustworthy, narcissistic, lousy parents, and dumber than a box of rocks. The culture is perhaps very different in China, so I am a little bit hesitant to assume anything just yet.

  2. fuck this shit! use your resources to save kids, why dogs? they’re only good to make baozi

    1. why use money to save stray dogs or those retarded pandas in chengdu when there are thousands of kids who can’t afford to go to school? and what about people who can’t pay for a doctor when they get sick?

      Let’s talk about priorities

      1. You’d be surprised how few kids can afford to go to school. I made only 20 cents cleaning my dad’s shoes and 50 cents mowing the lawns. This does not buy much education. In the end I was put into a public school and as a result have been retarded to this very day, probably like those Chengdu pandas.

        1. i have a couple of friends from NZ who went to public schools and they’re pretty smart people. the problem is you, not the school

        2. Tony: i highly doubt you’ve even had to tie your own shoe until you’ve lost your brain in some strip club. bullshiting how you had to clean shoes only makes you more moronic

          1. I must have cut you deeply to cause you to create another pseudonym. Your lousy punctuation and sentence structure betrays you. The entries for “Carl” and “whatever” have ~identical~ characteristics. They bear your fingerprint.

            Try again with another pseudonym.

            1. lmao you deranged moron. fine, me chink u yankee u happy? me happy. i fini. vous avez compris? espece de tabarnak.

              1. There was nothing sexual in my two contributions for “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day”. Nevertheless, now I find out that you have a soft-spot for a psychotic, child buggering savage called Muhammad, have entertained the idea of Jesus raping his mum, and thought about posting an image of it.

                Awww, what’s the matter? Running out of closet space to stuff all your skeletons?

                1. i have nothing to say to a retard like you. but maybe you can get out of ur basement more. thats my advice.

          2. carl, nice to meet you. do you prefer the dr. jackill or the mr hide role?
            or better, let’s let the kiwi decide for us. so? speak

            1. Jekyll & Hyde were two opposite sides of one deeply fascinating individual whereas “Carl” & “whatever” are one side of a cardboard cutout. In any case, here is my decision. “whatever” can be “Dr Witless” and “Carl” can be “Mr Semi-literate”.

              Hope that helps.

            2. And yes, I’m a wanker with nothing better to do than insult people without a reason.
              Thanks for replying my useless post, I love you all!

              1. Oh, Lordy… Posting using my name isn’t going to work, “whatever”. People still know it is you.

                Look at the avatars you ~stupid~ boy.

                Seriously; face the truth about yourself and don’t let spitefulness and general poor character be your ball and chain in life, assuming it isn’t already. Try a large dose of introspection or anything that will quell those dark emotions. Go for a walk. Read a book, etc. Just deal with it.

      2. i agree with you on the stray dogs comment, but pandas are an endangered species. You never know in the future they may be of some use so we can’t kill them all off to extinction just yet.

        1. But just think…fancy restaurant, panda steak and shark fins soup. that’d be the perfect dinner

  3. You know, the people bashing the owners, it might not be their fault after all, if those new shiny xiaoqu complexes they’re being moved into refuse to allow dogs. What else could the family do? I doubt the existance of the humane shelters are known by the average person in these districts..

  4. poor dogs. they deserved to to be loved and cared for. they feel pain and sadness just like us. how heartless are you people?!

  5. There’s no institute,no place , no law for these stray animals..Chinese government only cares money , how could they spend money on these non-return project ?

  6. The Chinese mindset on dogs can be sort of messed up. We have to remember that there are dogs that are raised expressly for the purpose of food. I’ve actually seen a “kennel” in a poor village where one breed of dog was raised outdoors just for food. People came by to buy them, butcher them and stir fry them in this huge wok…..

    Anyway, my wife had this dog. Loved it to death. Got run over a truck. Bad thing is witnesses said the truck driver saw the dog and sped up instead of slowing down. Broke her heart. My father-in-law who always acted like he hated that dog was in the bathroom crying after it got run over. They checked with everyone in the neighborhood to see if anyone could provide some of id for the truck…i think my father-in-law wanted revenge. He even offered a reward for info on the truck. Strange thing is, they’ve occasionally eaten dog. We Chinese are a strange people. Now, my cousin had a family dog…it got old and started having pain. His family killed it and ate it. Putting it out of it’s misery? Maybe these people who are forced to move may consider humanely putting their pets out of their misery instead of abandonment. It is not mercy to just leave them to rot or starve to death.

  7. These dogs in the picture will not starve death. They will ok as far as food goes but cars and people trying to eat them is another story. Its will be survival of the smartest in this case. I hate to see the dumb dogs that wonder in the middle of the street. You think they could hear the cars coming from a mile away but not they just walk around in their indescision. Those dogs will not last very long especially with the curteous drivers of China behind the wheel.

  8. I feel extremely disappointed with many of the comments posted here.
    When some people read about this stories they automatically say “who cares about the animals, think in the children” … well, actually, these two things have not much to do with each other … and some people do not care about any of the two at all!!!
    If people treats animals so badly … do you think they will do better with human beings or children??? I do not think so.

    Animals are very close to my heart and that does not mean that I do not care about children or people … I just think that animals need more help because they have no one … children are not supposed to have families, relatives, a government that takes care of them when necessary???

    Other comments to this article talk about the “survival of the fittest” and “dumb dogs” … excuse me?!?! If you have a dog that used to have a home and “all of the sudden” is is left in the street alone with no food to fend for itself … what do you expect?!?! … the cruelty of the comment is beyond words … a total shame on you!

  9. Well said to Alejandra!! i wish i could save those dogs. what irresponsible owners they had.. very sad. i think they wonder if their owners are coming back.. and they would stay there to be sure their former owners will come back for them… i m so pissed off.. the bright side is that there are other kind souls in China to help them..

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