An­i­mal shel­ters carry out ser­vices for an­i­mal spir­its

The China Post - - LOCAL -

As peo­ple around Tai­wan were mak­ing of­fer­ings to wan­der­ing spir­its on Ghost Fes­ti­val day Fri­day, the New Taipei An­i­mal Pro­tec­tion and Health In­spec­tion Of­fice and nine an­i­mal shel­ters in the city jointly held a Taoist re­li­gious ser­vice for wan­der­ing an­i­mal spir­its.

A spokesman for the of­fice said that by hold­ing the ser­vice for an­i­mal spir­its, it was hoped that the de­ceased an­i­mals might have bet­ter next lives and wan­der no more while the an­i­mals now stay­ing at the shel­ters would be blessed with good health.

Many peo­ple in Tai­wan still fol­low the cus­toms of of­fer­ing food, drinks and flow­ers and burn­ing pa­per money to wan­der­ing ghosts and spir­its on the 15th day of the sev­enth moon in lu­nar cal­en­dar, to please the dead and pray to keep ill­ness and mis­for­tune at bay.

The an­i­mal pro­tec­tion of­fice also launched a web page for peo­ple to write mes­sages in mem­ory of their an­i­mal friends, giv­ing peo­ple another way to re­mem­ber their de­ceased pets on the fes­ti­val.

Be­fore the New Taipei gov­ern­ment put in force a no-eu­thana­sia pol­icy on March 1, stray dogs and cats caught by the author­i­ties and kept in an­i­mal shel­ters faced death un­less they were adopted within a cer­tain pe­riod be­cause of over­crowd­ing in the shel­ters.

The pol­icy to treat an­i­mals bet­ter has ac­tu­ally paid div­i­dends, New Taipei of­fi­cials said, with the nat­u­ral death rate of an­i­mals kept in the shel­ters at 9.91 per­cent this year, down from 20.34 per­cent dur­ing the same pe­riod a year ago.

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