Chinese monk dedicates his life to rescuing 8,000 dogs – finding new homes for them around the world

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A karmic war chest will await a Buddhist monk who has spent decades rescuing stray dogs in Shanghai and bringing them to his monastery to live in peace and comfort, or to find a new home.

Since 1994, Zhi Xiang has rescued more than 8,000 homeless pooches from the streets of the Chinese megalopolis, taking care of them all.

In Buddhism, the highest goal is to reach the fourth stage of consciousness, whereby the traps of reality disappear when the practitioner realizes that life is only an illusion. Yet the holiest of monks, the Bodhisattvas, does not choose this path and instead, like Xiang, 51, remains in this world to try and help those stuck in the cycle of life escape. .

With the help of volunteers and his own team from the Bao’en Temple, Xiang is currently caring for hundreds of cats and dogs. Costing nearly $ 2.5 million each year in labor and supplies, Xiang tries to bring as many as possible to family homes abroad, using social media to reach homeowners. potential animals.

So far, 300 dogs have been adopted by families in Canada, the United States and Germany.

Not being a qualified veterinarian, Xiang loves and cares for the animals he rescues as if he were, and although many are too sick, the youngest or in good health go to adoption shelters, or directly into the arms of new owners.

“I think they’re very happy so I think it’s worth it,” he said. ABC Australia. “But of course I miss them.”

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“I dream that one day, when I have free time, I want to go abroad and visit them, take pictures with every dog ​​I have saved,” he said. “So when I get older and can’t walk, I have these photos to look at. “

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If indeed Karma rewards those who sacrifice their time and wealth to help alleviate the suffering of animals, what Xiang expects in his afterlife is greater than anyone can imagine, and rightly so.

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