As many as 400 stray dogs may be wandering Yangmingshan National Park, a recreation area in northern Taiwan, at any given time. According to a recent story in the Taiwan News, former companion animals have been abandoned in the park based on the misguided belief they can survive on food left by visitors and small wild animals. Many more dogs roam city streets.
Economic hardship is driving the wave of abandonments in and around Taipei. Large breed dogs are especially hard hit and, in a sign that tough times don’t discriminate, even expensive breeds are showing up in shelters. And, this may not be the worst of it. Reporter Flor Wang talked to a pet shop owner in central Taiwan, who worries more dogs will be abandoned around the Chinese New Year in late January “because money will be tight for many families then.”