Dogs are just as popular in Taiwan as they are in America. According to Claudia Lin of Clala’s Paw Rescue, the most popular dog breeds include, “German Shepherds and Labradors” or “whatever movie is popular [that features dogs.]” The problem with these popular breeds is their size. When a Taiwanese family realizes their adorable pint-sized pup is eventually going to turn into a large-sized dog with a big appetite, requiring a vast amount of space, the dogs are often discarded — to the streets.
According to Claudia, “It’s not like in America, where dogs are family.” When Taiwanese families are looking for a dog, they choose to purchase a puppy rather than adopting an “older” dog from a rescue.
Dora was purchased as a breeding dog to meet the high demand of German Shepherds in Yi-Lan, located in northern Taiwan. She was confined to a cage to do her job: breed. At only four years old, she had been bred over and over, giving her little to no recovery time in between. According to Clala’s Paw, Dora’s nipples were inflamed from overbreeding, then became infected, which eventually led to breast cancer.
When her owners realized the cost of treating her was too high and she could no longer breed, she was no longer “useful.” The backyard breeders wanted to euthanize her. The veterinarian knew she could be saved and refused to put her down. Dora’s owner brought her home and locked her up in a cage without any food or water. She was being starved to death.
A Good Samaritan found Dora and brought her to Clala’s Paw Rescue, where she underwent surgery and had her breast tissue removed. With a proper diet, she slowly recovered. For two years she was nursed back to health. When Claudia looked into her eyes, she didn’t see a sad dog: “She is like a puppy. Really pure.” Finding a home for Dora would be difficult, so when she was ready to be adopted, Claudia sent a plea overseas. Westside German Shepherd took up the call and took on the dog that nearly died in Taiwan. Through the love and passion of two animal rescues, Dora had a second chance at life.
When Dora touched down at Los Angeles International Airport, volunteers of Westside German Shepherd Rescue based in Los Angeles met her and brought her home. Joanna, Dora’s Foster Mom, taught her about life outside the cage and inside a warm home. One would expect Dora to have apprehension about her new environment, but according to Joanna, “She made herself right at home.” After everything she’s been through, Dora is still the sweet, intelligent, and loyal dog. She knew she had been saved and harbored no ill will, no aggressive tendencies, and no fear.
Dora, now named Nami June, has found a wonderful home with a disabled vet and is a service dog in training. Together, Dora and her new owner are healing one another.
Clala’s Paw Rescue Facebook Page.