Shanghai Charities: Jaiya’s Animal Rescue
Vanessa Bandini-Gadsby and Juliet Lamont
Since I was very little, I have always loved animals and it was no surprise for my mum to see me coming home with injured birds, stray cats, smelly street dogs and hamsters. When I arrived in Shanghai one of the first things I was told was to avoid stray cats, who would probably scratch me and give me rabies or at the very least give me a few fleas. My personal experience was different: When I first laid eyes on a stray cat, I did not see a threat to my health but a gorgeous animal in need of care.
My stay in Shanghai is limited and so, after thorough online research, I decided to foster cats through JAR because they seemed to be truly committed to helping animals with no financial benefit in between. Going through an organisation gave me the reassurance of having support from knowledgeable people and I thought that if I could not take in all those stray cats, at least I could help a couple. I was thrilled when JAR asked me to foster a young cat called Patch. Over the moon with the good news, I quickly started to make our home 'cat friendly'.
However, the joy of helping animals just got better when Marvin Manalac, the founder of JAR, asked me if I could foster an abandoned newborn kitten, who needed to be bottle fed. When baby Colin arrived, it was love at first sight! He was the loveliest creature - smaller than my hand and with his baby eyes still closed, he tried to smell my hands in search of nourishment. I won't deny it was a hard job, going to bed late at night after feeding him and getting up before six to feed him again, but I loved every single minute of it!
I do not have children, and it might sound silly but Colin's needs were almost the same as those of any other baby. So he sort of became my baby kitten, and the bond between us grew strong. After almost four weeks of looking after him, I decided to make the commitment of adopting him as I just couldn't bear the thought of seeing him go away from me. When Marvin accepted my request, I was the happiest person in the world!
Fostering these two little cats has been a wonderful, sometimes challenging, but thoroughly rewarding experience. I would recommend it to anybody who cares about animals and wants to help at least few of those many others still wandering the streets. Marvin and Julia from JAR have been great at supporting and facilitating this experience and I thank JAR from the bottom of my heart for having allowed me to help these two animals.
I have only been involved with JAR for a short time but I am delighted to have found them. I have always loved animals and it breaks my heart to see any animal suffering. I find it impossible to turn a blind eye but, before I found JAR, I had difficulty in finding any help if I rescued an animal. Last year for instance, I rescued kittens on three different occasions but I had no organisation behind me to help find them a home. My dog did not get on well with the cats so, in desperation, I had to call on all of my friends for help. Luckily they ended up keeping them but I was worried about what I would do the next time I found an animal in need. In July this year my beloved dog passed away and, although I still miss him everyday, fostering through JAR has helped me a lot. For me, my house is not a home without an animal in it and they bring me a lot of joy. It also means I don't get bored while my husband is out working all day!
I recently found 2 kittens in my compound, abandoned, starving and crying their little hearts out. This time I was able to foster them in my home. I contacted JAR who promptly added them to their website and one month later they were adopted together by a very nice couple. What a happy ending! I find it very hard to say goodbye to my rescues but it is also very rewarding. I have to remind myself that letting them go means I am able to help more animals in need. It is a great feeling, knowing you have helped an animal that otherwise would probably have died. It means a lot to me and I wish I could do more to help.
Jaiya's Animal Rescue group has been running since March 2009 and since then they have adopted out in excess of 200 dogs and 100 cats. JAR is not a shelter: it is an organisation which finds permanent homes for dogs and cats. Despite the experiences of these two volunteers, most of the animals it supports are dogs. The animals are looked after by a 'foster parent' until a permanent home can be found.
Fostering an animal is great for people who had to leave their furry friend at home or cannot commit to having an animal permanently but would enjoy the companionship. JAR are very grateful for any help that can be offered, even just short term help to cover holiday periods.
There are many ways to help and all are greatly appreciated:
* Adopt or foster an animal.
* Provide part-time transportation to vets, adoption days, etc.
* Let the community know about JAR.
* Make a donation.
* Donate and/or provide Gifts-in-Kind items (Pet supplies such as animal bedding, used warm clothing, linens, towels, animal toys, food, bowls, cat toys…)
Please note that we don't have a shelter or a physical address. If an animal is rescued, we ask you to help and provide the animal with a temporary home and medical care. We will do our best to find the animal a home once it has had its health check and been deemed adoptable.
Adoption Days are held around once a month at:
3338 Hongmei Lu, 22-24 Hongmei Pedestrian Street
near Yan'an Xi Lu
If you are interested in helping JAR, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.jargroup.doodlekit.com.