The Animal Welfare Training and Education Center, which opened Thursday in Beijing, vows to be a steadfast advocate for animals, in part by promoting the rescue and adoption of stray cats and dogs. Founded by the nonprofit Capital Animal Welfare Association, the 1,000-square-meter facility can accommodate up to 130 stray animals and currently houses 40 dogs and 20 cats.
Pet ownership is a growing trend in China. The country is currently home to around 100 million pet dogs and cats, up 8.4% from 2018, according to an industry report published in August. However, the uptick in pet ownership has also resulted in an increasing number of stray animals, mostly due to abandonment and unchecked reproduction.
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To tackle this problem, some local governments have set up animal shelters and organized pet adoption events encouraging people to take in rescued strays as pets. Previously, animal welfare organizations and individual volunteers were primarily responsible for finding new homes for stray animals.