台灣流浪狗貓的英國教母Liza

記者 何宜/報導

剛踏進辦公室,狗群就開始發出此起彼落的吠叫聲歡迎,辦公室裡的狗不是下半身癱瘓、就是失明失聰的老狗,而迎接我們的是一位褐髮碧眼的外國人----Liza。Liza引人注意之處不是她的西方面孔,而是她在注視每隻狗時,雙眼是那麼地清澈明亮,Liza就是今天採訪的主角—台灣動物協會Animals Taiwan的理事長。

Liza一臉關愛的向我們介紹這隻即將去加拿大展開新生活的哈士奇。 何宜/攝

台灣動物協會成立宗旨是希望台灣流浪狗都可以有一個更好的環境,並推廣及實行TNR/CNR、以認養代替購買,與教育飼主結紮的重要性等等。Liza表示,多數人會因為她是外籍人士,就將焦點放在她身上,但她強調,做好一件事情,絕對不會只是她一個人的功勞,而該歸功於整個團隊的通力合作。

當初因為父親在台經商而來到台灣的Liza,原本是英語教師,後來因為看見台灣流浪狗問題嚴重,於是開始救援街頭的無辜生命,並成為台灣動物協會的志工,相當愛護流浪動物的她,自己家中目前仍養了10隻狗5隻貓,數量驚人

不但家裡養,連家外的流浪動物和愛媽,她都主動關切。家住深坑的Liza和當地的愛心媽媽溝通、合作,將山上的流浪動物都結紮,平時也會一起餵食山區TNR的流浪狗貓,她也教導愛媽使用鐵碗餵食並收拾善後,不讓環境變得髒亂引發附近居民抗議。

Liza與黏人活潑的Gina。 何宜/攝

談到自己的母國英國的動物保護政策,Liza坦言:「其實我們英國人也是閉著眼睛(不去面對),他們撿到了流浪狗可能就會送去皇家防止虐待動物協會(RSPCA),然後覺得協會的人會幫牠找送養家庭等等。但RSPCA(皇家防止虐待動物協會)也會執行安樂死,通常只有年輕、有機會被認養的狗能倖存。反而是台灣人會去面對眼前發生的流浪狗問題。

針對台灣嚴重的流浪狗問題,Liza也曾多次建議政府,應該以優惠來鼓勵民眾施行結紮,主動結紮就免費植入晶片,不結紮的話晶片收費需要更高,讓民眾可以自由選擇結紮與否,但以優惠吸引大家採行,例如北市動保處目前推行的VIP 8大免費服務。

除了結紮問題,Liza也認為應該要禁止寵物店販賣寵物,讓買賣的交易回到源頭的繁殖業者,如此一來就能降低民眾買到基因有缺陷的狗,進而棄養的可能,政府也能更容易去管理繁殖業者的經營環境,也讓繁殖者互相監督。

台灣動物協會正在籌措搬遷的資金,強調每個人小小的捐助都能產生大大的幫助。 何宜/攝

Liza認為,目前協會遭遇的兩個最大困難是幫協會找新地及送養狗貓。目前協會承租的土地期限只到明年10月,雖然已積極找地和籌措搬遷經費,但遇到些波折,讓協會又得從頭來起,另覓好地點。

而協會的狗狗,都有屬於牠們自己的流浪故事,儘管有些狗狗已入住保育場5、6年,但協會不曾放棄過任何替牠們找尋幸福家庭的機會。透過辦活動、替牠們拍美美的照片和記錄牠們的生命故事,來讓更多人認識這些生命力強韌的可愛狗狗。

雖然缺乏媒體的關注,協會訊息多半只能透過Facebook分享去散布,但Liza說,就如同寓言故事裡的小孩,在海灘上撿起海星丟入海裡一樣,雖然會有人覺得沒意義,但「救了一個,就是改變了牠的命運」

眼前這位高大的外國女性,竟然澈底實踐了中國古訓「勿以善小而不為」的道理,而且謙遜不居功。充滿愛心、洋溢熱忱的Liza,實在令人感佩!

 

(感謝Animals Taiwan提供的英譯版本)

The British Godmother of Stray Cats and Dogs In Taiwan

Reporter: Ho Yi

Caption: Liza affectionately introduces the Huskie off to build a new life in Canada

Right after entering the office, the pack starts, one after another to bark a welcome. If it’s not the dog paralysed from the waist down, then it’s the deaf and blind old dog in the office as we are welcomed by the brown haired, maroon eyed foreigner Liza. What’s captivating about Liza is not her Western face, but her lucid, bright eyes whenever she looks at each of the dogs. This is the star of our visit – Liza, President of the Taiwan Animal Association, ‘Animals Taiwan’.

Animals Taiwan was set up with the goal of providing a better environment for stray dogs in Taiwan and promoting and operating TNR/CNR by way of promoting adoption rather than purchasing, teaching owners the importance of neutering and other similar policies. Liza explained that since she is a foreigner, the focus is often on her, but she emphasised that getting things done, is absolutely not just down to her own efforts, but should be attributed to strong co-operation between the whole team.

Liza, who originally came to Taiwan since her father was doing business here, started off as an English teacher. Ultimately, due to recognising the seriousness of the stray dog problem in Taiwan, she started to save the innocent souls on the streets, and became a volunteer at Animals Taiwan.

This lover of stray animals even cares for 10 dogs and 5 cats in her own home!

Aside from caring at home, she even actively takes care of the stray animals and their ‘loving mothers’ in her neighbourhood (lit. outside her home).Liza, who lives in Shenkeng, and the local ‘loving mothers’ communicate, co-operate, arrange the castration of the stray animals on the mountain, and often go together to feed the neutered stray cats and dogs living on the mountain. She has also taught them to use metal bowls, and clean up after their giving, so as not to spoil the environment and give the neighbours cause to complain.

On the attitude of her mother country, the UK, towards animal projection, she admits: “To be honest, the British close their eyes [to the problem]”.
Perhaps they will take a dog they have found to the RSPCA, and think that the people at the association  with help find it an adoptive home and so on. However, the RSPCA also practices euthanasia, and it’s often only the young dogs which are lucky enough to find a home which survive. People in Taiwan are better at facing the problem in front of their eyes.

As regards the serious stray dog problem in Taiwan, Liza has proposed to the government a number of times that they should offer incentives for neutering: those who actively decide on neutering should receive a free ID chip implant, and those that don’t should pay more for the ID chip, in order to allow people to freely decide on the issue of neutering, but through offering benefits, such as the ‘VIP 8 Free Services’ offered in Taipei City.

Aside from the issue of neutering, Liza also believes that pet stores should not be allowed to sell pets, instead allowing the trade to return to its beginnings, involving breeders. This will reduce the numbers of genetically-deficient dogs purchased, and the likelihood of abandonment. In addition, the authorities could more easily manage breeders’ operating environments and allow the latter to monitor each other.

Liza reckons that the two major difficulties currently facing the association are finding a new home for both the dogs and for the shelter itself. The association has leased its current location until October next year.  Although it is actively looking for land and raising funds, it has experienced a few setbacks which have forced the association to start over again and look for a new location.

The dogs at the shelter all have their own [sad] story (of being stray), and even though some of them have been at the shelter for 5 or 6 years, the shelter has never given up on trying to find them a happy home. Through events, taking beautiful pictures of them and recording their life stories, the association wants to let more people know about these cute and yet resilient dogs.

Although the association is not in the media spotlight, and relies mostly on Facebook shares to get the information out there, Liza says, “It’s like the child in the fairy tales, who finds a starfish and throws it into the see. Although some people won’t be interested, even by saving one, you are changing a whole life.

And so this tall foreign woman lives by the traditional Chinese adage: No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted, and displays humility with it. It is impossible to not admire Liza, with her heart bursting with compassion and enthusiasm. 

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