While the Lunar New Year is traditionally spent with family and loved ones, five elderly Chinese women from Weinan, Shaanxi Province chose to spend the holiday taking care of over 1,300 stray dogs, just as they do every day. Six years ago, Wang Yanfang established a dog asylum as a way to save strays from the pound, where they could be euthanized. Since then, the 60-year-old and four other volunteers–all in their 60s and 70s–have gotten up at 4AM every morning so they can prepare 400 kilograms of food for the hungry pups. The shelter, which is supported solely by donations, makes sure that these animals are fed, cared for, and even groomed regularly.
Despite their good intentions, local media reports that the elderly women have faced other challenges like being bitten by dogs who are less tame than others. But in the end, it’s all worth it to a selfless animal lover like Wang, who has adored animals since she cared for her first dog back in 2000. According to Tencent News, she says, “They’re like your children, you can’t bear to be apart from them, or to lose them.”