ver the last few years, a dog lover from Chengdu has spiraled into crippling debt after setting up a sanctuary for strays.
41-year-old Zhang Kai works at a state-owned enterprise where he makes a stable income and has a lot of time on his hands. With that spare time, he started a travel agency, which has made him some extra money, and a dog sanctuary, which most certainly has not.
Zhang began the sanctuary in 2017 with eight dogs. Now, just two years later, he is supporting 260 of them, according to a report from the Red Star News. In Zhang’s area of town, many people have recently started moving away to the city, leaving their pet dogs behind.
His monthly expenses have now ballooned to 200,000 yuan ($29,000), causing him to take out bank loans, overdraw credit cards, and fall deeply into debt to the tune of 600,000 yuan ($89,000) despite also receiving some donations from animal lovers.
Because of his financial troubles, Zhang’s wife divorced him. Over the Chinese New Year holiday, he even became so desperate for money that he pilfered 20,000 yuan ($2,900) from his parents’ pension fund. When they questioned him, he was forced to admit to them how deeply in the red he was.
To help their son out, Zhang’s parents, aged 69 and 70, have given him 100,000 yuan ($14,000) and even decided to go back to work. Zhang has refused to turn out any of his strays, however, his mother has made an appeal to the public, hoping that good people will come forward to adopt the animals to help reduce the family’s tremendous financial strain.
Zhang isn’t the first in China to be driven into debt by their love and compassion for otherwise doomed canines. Back in 2015, a former millionaire in Jilin province made headlines after going broke from establishing an animal shelter to save hundreds of dogs from the slaughterhouse.
[Images via Red Star News]