Since I’ve been in Taiwan, I have seen three dogs hit by cars and left for dead. One was hit right in front of me while I was playing with it and the car just kept on driving. It didn’t even slow down when I threw my hands up in the air in blinding anger. I took the poor puppy to the vet the next day and she became my first dog in Taiwan. A few months later, my neighbor ran over a two month old puppy that was sleeping under his car. He came and went several times during the day, never doing anything for the dog that was lying in front of his door, unable to get up. None of the other neighbors did anything either. I finally picked the dog up and took her to the vet. I ended up paying over $NT10,000 in treatment to have her leg pinned back into place. She became my second dog in Taiwan. That same month I ended up with another puppy from my neighborhood. This one had distemper. After a few shaky weeks, she pulled through and is a normal dog today. I’ve helped out other injured dogs in my area and even a few cats. There have been times when I feel like a madman for trying to do so much. My neighbors love to complain about the number of animals that hang around my house but these animals were already there to begin with.
This brings me to the third dog to be hit by a car. I have been taking care of a seven month old puppy that lives around my place. She has been hanging around for months, so I finally started to bring her in at night and let her sleep in the back. However, earlier tonight, before I brought her in, I heard a dog howling in pain out by the main road. I knew it was her and went running outside to find her laying in a pool of blood in the middle of the road, no car in sight. She got up eventually and managed to walk back to my place. She is sleeping right now and seems to be doing ok. I think she just took a really bad blow to the head and may have cut her lip. It’s too late to take her to the vet right now but I’ll get her checked out first thing in the morning.
I just don’t understand what kind of person can run over any living thing and not even stop. I’m starting to go out of my mind trying to take care of all these dogs and I feel like it is never going to end. I’m not trying to save every dog in Taiwan but I just find it impossible to look the other way and do nothing. I don’t regret helping these poor dogs, but can we ever get people to have a little more compassion? Someone please tell me that it’s not a hopeless battle.
If someone hits a dog and doesn’t do anything, that’s horrible and says something pretty sad about human beings. A decent person would try to help the animal and contact the owner if there is one. Others just won’t care, as you know. Maybe they just figure that it’s a stray so it doesn’t matter - and if it’s not a stray, the owner will demand compensation, so why bother? Just drive on, right?
As for bystanders and passersby, I think a lot of people DO have compassion, but they aren’t ruled by it. They might just figure that someone else will deal with the problem. People have a strong resistance to getting involved in things that aren’t there business if these things could land them in trouble, be it financial or whatever. That resistance can easily overwhelm compassion for an animal. What you said about the second dog is very sad. Poor pooch. Yet it wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction for you to jump in there to help her, right? That doesn’t mean you had no compassion, as you obviously have lots. It just means that you didn’t jump in. You sort of waded after a while, right? Lots of people don’t jump in. They go away to where they can’t hear or see anything. They’ll go to work or go cook dinner and they might think about the dog and hope that someone helped it - they might feel rotten for the rest of the day and curse themselves for not doing anything themselves, but they won’t wade in. People have compassion, but that’s not enough. You need other things. You need a strong character and even temperament, not to mention money, time, and maybe even some guilt.
I once witnessed a dog get hit by a car in Taiwan, something I will never forget. I went to pick him up and all the cars were giving me the horn. This was more like a freeway. He looked right at me as I got close and picked him up. He died in my arms. Every time I see a dog on the road now I feel anxiety. With the amount of dogs on the street this is sure to be the reality. What I find staggering is the indifference of the vehicles appraoching the animals. I see it all the time, a dog or cat on the road, a vehicle appraoches and the driver doesn’t even flinch. Sick. Great job bokgwai. Believe me it’s not a hopeless battle, just an uphill one. Take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone and take pride in the acts you’ve committed. You have saved lives and stopped suffering.
What’s even worse, and is something I have witnessed twice since coming to Taiwan, is seeing someone actually take aim at a dog as they are driving down the road.
The first was a few years ago in Kaohsiung City when a guy on a scooter swerved to get closer to a dog and then kicked it as he was riding by.
The second was just a few days ago. I was riding my bike along a mountain road connecting Tainan and Kaohsiung County. I saw the car in front of me obviously trying to strike a dog at the side of the street. He just missed it fortunately.
A little further down the road I passed the skeleton of a fairly large dog laying at the side of the road. I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened and if it were avoidable.
Humans can really ruin your day.
Humans can really ruin your day.[/quote]Yep and they do it to me often.
A couple months ago I stopped for a dog that was laying in a pool of blood as well. It was just laying in the middle of the road breathing heavy and it was very obvious that it was still alive. I’m riding a scooter so it was hard to do anything about it. I tried stopping not one, not two, but three taxis and all of them ignored me. Meanwhile I was blocking the traffic with my scooter. Most cars would not even slow down swearving inches from me and my bike. I felt really helpless.
I ended up putting him on my lap and riding with one hand to a vet. I was covered in blood by the time I got there. Bumber died from internal bleeding a couple hours later…
I like what mixedvegetables wrote. Sometimes compassion isn’t enough. Something else seems to be missing.
It is a steep uphill battle for sure. So steep in fact that sometimes I feel like I’m just slipping backward. It helps to read you guys and it comforts me to know that other people out there are putting up a good fight.
Well, I’m glad to see that there are other people out there who do care. I have to admitt that I was a little worked up the other night, so I was venting a bit. But I had another incident tonight that’s brought me right back to a mood of hatred and despare. The poor dog that got hit by a car the other night is fine, despite a few missing teeth. She has been running around like normal for the past two days, so I have been pretty happy. However, I had her tied up in front of my place tonight because I have no room to keep her inside with the other three dogs that I have. I was just getting ready to bring her in when I heard a loud crash and the dog start to cry. Then another crash, more cries and then the angry yelling of my drunken neighbor. He was picking up our potted plants and hurling them at the dog and screaming. My girlfriend opened the door and scream at him, asking what the hell he was doing. His reasoning was that the dog was barking too much, which was not true. She barked maybe once, or twice, but that was because he was lurking around in the street, like he always does. Then he proceeded to aproach the door and yell at my girlfriend about having too many dogs. Then he shoved my girlfriend and stepped inside my front door. I grabbed a handy pole from a broken mop that I had lying around and shoved him right back outside after a few chose words, I locked the door. We called the police as he threatened to call over some buddies of his. Then he came back five minutes later and threw a big ceramic pot through our heavy glass door. It took the police 15 minutes to show up. Of course he was no where in sight by then. Then his buddies showed up, and tried to calm us down. Of course they were all drunk as well. They tried to make excuses for him and calm us down. Then they all got on their scooters, still drunk, and rode off, right in front of the police.
The bottom line is that unless we file a report against him, nothing happens. I love it. Now I really have to find a home for this poor dog.
[quote=“Bokgwai”]Then they all got on their scooters, still drunk, and rode off, right in front of the police.
The bottom line is that unless we file a report against him, nothing happens. I love it. Now I really have to find a home for this poor dog.[/quote]
I think this may illustrate the “something else” that Taiwan is missing. The police here are infinitely useless. It’s totally insane the things people will do right in front of the police knowing full well they won’t even get so much as a tongue lashing for it. There is no respect for basic authority, so there certainly will be limited respect for the rights of others or the rights of animals.
I’ve lived here for 7 years and have yet to see a cop give someone a spontaneous ticket for committing an offense. Yet I see behavior every day that would result in punishment if it happened in my country. It’s funny everyone blames Taiwan’s problems on the figurehead president. The central problem of Taiwan can only be fixed by starting with basic law enforcement. :fume:
dearpeter[quote]The central problem of Taiwan can only be fixed by starting with basic law enforcement.[/quote]
^^Primary problem. Also the laws concerning animal welfare.
The dog catchers came by the other day, howling dogs in the back of the cage pick up deal they use. Hate it.
Has anyone else noticed, in Taiwan people don’t even stop to help out at a traffic accident, drive by like nothing happened!?
Been here a long enough…but some things will never make sense.
Not all Taiwanese are the same. Many DO care, but they are caught in the same lack of enforcement trap.
Help where you can, some will appreciate the effort, others will not. Most important, you have improved the Life of another Being. Karma.
It’s funny how the topic has switched to law inforcement. I just spent most of my day off in the police station filing a report on my psycho neighbor. Actually, they said that WE have to sue him if anything is to happen to him. We can’t just file a report and have the police take care of him. They really wanted us to get together with this guy and sort it out ourselves. The problem was that no one could find him and I couldn’t picture him sitting down for some tea and a chat. He had all the balls in the world the other night but didn’t even have the guts to face up to what he did. However, he actually showed up at my place today and apologized for the mayem the other night. According to my neighbors, he’s a nice guy when he’s not a raging drunk. In any case, he’s going to pay for the door and he does seem to feel a bit guilty about the whole thing. I just find it hard to believe this will be the last time he goes on a rampage. This was actually the fourth time he has destroyed someone’s property on our street. He’s even been arrested for fraud and has a record. I’m really considering taking him in to be neutered one of these days.
By the way, my post topic is in no way directed at Taiwanese people. It’s mainly about the kind of people that you shake your head at and wonder, “What the hell were they thinking?”
This kind of disclaimer is very valuable. I’m glad you added it. And thank you (and the others above) who have been compassionate and taken the time (and spent the money) to help. You can’t legislate compassion. As with charity, it begins at home, and is a value that you spread through education, and leadership by example.
I am very sorry to hear about your troubles with such an idiot. I do have a suggestion which may or may not be useful. Get the drunken moron and his friends on you side. Give him a sob story about the dogs etc and maybe, just maybe you might slowly change some of his thinking and it might possibly have a longer reaching affect. I know things sometimes suck there. I had one man wind up and wack my puppy who was terrified of people with a rolled up newspaper. I screamed at him and he backed down very quickly. But often our reactions (no matter how justified they seem) can cause long range problems. Don’t underestimate the affect you are having on people who see you saving lives. It might take time but I bet you are changing the way some thinks about strays right now. You may never see the results directly, but perhaps some dog somewhere will.
This kind of disclaimer is very valuable. I’m glad you added it. And thank you (and the others above) who have been compassionate and taken the time (and spent the money) to help. You can’t legislate compassion. As with charity, it begins at home, and is a value that you spread through education, and leadership by example.[/quote]
I don’t think this has anything to do with education. There is something seriously wrong with these people ab initio. A five-year old does not need to be taught this sort of behaviour is “wrong”. The degree of animal abuse here has no obvious excuse. I have read attempts to explain the Chinese attitude of “leave the fucker to die, it’s not my problem” as a legacy of the Confucian family system, and therefore the plight of a dog is even less important, but the explanation is unsatisfactory. There is a general level of obliviousness to strangers and to one’s surroundings here, that is obvious, but cruelty to animals, and while we’re at it, children, requires some explanation I have yet to see.
Woudsprite, I agree with what you said about trying to change some peoples’ thinking rather than react in a negative way. I don’t want to view myself as being at war with anyone. I just hope that some people see that there is a different way to do things and try to do a little extra in the end. It really makes me frustrated to think that most of the stray dogs out there are the result of someone’s poor decisions as a pet owner. It’s not up to the foreigner community to change Taiwanese people’s habbits with animals, it’s up to Taiwanese people to change those habbits. So, yeah, maybe getting my neighbors to understand why I bother helping an animal that isn’t even mine will get them to think twice about it. I already know a vet in Taichung that spays and vaccinates stray dogs and then releases them. The owner of the pet shop I go to provides the local shelter with cheap food for the animals there. He was also able to give information about local groups that try to deal with the stray problem. That doesn’t seem like much but I take it as proof that some people do care. Hopefully, someday the number of people who do care will outnumber the ones that don’t.