At the end of 2015, did you see four puppies frolicking outside of International Business School Suzhou? Are you wondering what happened to them? The “IBSS puppies” are in wonderful new homes now.
Serious animal lover Dr Ellen Touchstone, from IBSS, took the lead, in consultation with Professor Adam Cross also from IBSS, and started the “Find homes for puppies” project.
She had caught sight of the puppies playing outside the glass walls of her classroom and during her class break went out and played with them, which led to the decision to find them permanent homes.
During the process of hunting for good homes, many people from across Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University were involved including those from IBSS, the Language Centre, the Academic Enhancement Centre staff, security guards, canteen workers and other animal lovers in Suzhou.
Built environment students Suting Mei and Peichu Zhaxi fed the puppies regularly, purchased them a plastic doghouse and brought them into the on-campus design studio on cold nights.
The group effort started in early December. Winter was getting colder and students and staff were leaving campus for the holidays. It had become an urgent issue to find homes for the puppies. A puppy-rescue committee meeting was called to discuss how they could find good homes and safely live through the winter. Given that the Christmas holiday was approaching, Dr Touchstone realised that it might be a good time to find homes for the puppies as they might make perfect Christmas presents. An adoption flyer was produced and circulated throughout the Suzhou expat community as well as to Suzhou animal lovers.
The day before Christmas Eve, two staff members from Kubota in Suzhou Industrial Park expressed their willingness to adopt the male puppies permanently. A few days later, the other two puppies also found permanent homes.
“Everything has worked out great. This project is just one example of what impressive feats can be accomplished when there is open communication and cooperation between people,” remarked Dr Touchstone.
“This has been a great team effort, which demonstrates the strong community bond at XJTLU. We want to keep building a loving, caring and healthy community environment around the campus and extend this to a wider audience in Suzhou.”
As a result of this project, and to continue helping homeless dogs and cats on the University campus and in the surrounding areas, a formal animal rescue group on WeChat has been established called ‘Puppy!Kitten!’.
BA Business Administration student Hanye Liu, one of the participants in the rescue project and the contact person for Puppy!Kitten!, said: “This WeChat group was set up as a way for people to help homeless dogs and cats and maybe even find good permanent homes. We hope that more people will want to join us to care for homeless animals.”
“Members of Puppy!Kitten! are responsible for feeding homeless dogs and cats around the campus. Especially in winter, we make sure they have enough food to live through cold days.”
Special thanks to:
- Professor Adam Cross, Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching, Professor, IBSS
- Dr Ellen Touchstone, Senior Teaching Fellow, IBSS
- Professor Michael Chng, IBSS
- Minghao (Rainie) Zhang and Jenn Mullen, Tutors, XJTLU Language Centre
- Na Li, Educational Technologist, AEC
- Xiaoyu Li, Administrator, IBSS
- Suting Mei, MSc Investment Management student, IBSS
- Yawen (Christine) Huang, BSc Economics and Finance student, IBSS
- Hanye (Alex) Liu, BA Business Administration student, IBSS
- Yuxin (Sharon) Sun, BA Business Administration student, IBSS
- Peichu Zhaxi, student
- Zhu Zeng, student
- Huazhen Ji, student
- And many others helped without leaving their names.