Home for special needs animals in Myanmar

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REUTERS/Kiyoshi Ota

YANGON (Xinhua) – The Golden Heart Animal Rescue in the outskirts of Myanmar’s Yangon shelters hundreds of physically and mentally disabled animals.

Special needs animals are described as animals with physical disabilities including missing, deformed or paralysed limbs as well as functional limitations – blind or deaf, chronic medical conditions that are in need of special care.

Founded in 2014, the shelter now runs with over a dozen staff who help groom and create a hygienic environment for special needs animals.

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“I am an animal lover, especially dogs, and we started with helping some stray dogs that were injured by accidents or people. We moved around the city to provide vaccination and treatment to them,” Hnin Si Myint, the founder of the shelter, told Xinhua.

The shelter separates dogs with different types of disabilities such as being paralysed or blind and deaf.

The shelter has become a home not only for special needs stray dogs, but also for those that are abandoned and those whose owners die.

David Chan, a dog that lost two legs in a train accident, is well-known for its cuteness and is loved by donors and staff of the shelter.

The founder highlighted that it is inspiring to see how he lives happily even without two front legs and how he finds a way to use the remaining two limbs without any help of wheels. He said human should learn from the dog’s hard work and how he enjoys life.

At present, rescue works are suspended for a while as the shelter is experiencing some financial difficulties as well as insufficient space for hosting more animals.

The shelter has recently introduced an adoption programme that donors or dog lovers can provide monthly cash assistance to the animals, but they are not allowed to take them to their homes.

“Previously, adopter of dogs could bring back home dogs they adopted but I find them abandoned back on streets. So afterward, cash assistance is only received monthly from the adopter, leaving the dogs in the center for care,” the founder said.

Although the shelter mainly targets to rescue dogs, the team doesn’t mind accepting other animals. There are currently more than 100 cats, four cows, 14 pigs that were rescued from slaughter and a monkey and a rabbit at the shelter.

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