Common House, which is now home to 2,000 dogs and 200 cats, was the brainchild of Yang Xiaoyun. The center was founded in 1995 when her husband passed away. The initial spark for the rescue center can be traced back to 19 years ago.
After failing to make a deal, an illegal peddler cruelly threw a cat into a canal. The cat survived thanks to Yang, who resolved to help other cats and dogs.
As her center hosted more and more animals, Yang ran out of money. To sustain her undertaking, she sold two houses.
She has been forced to relocate the center nine times, because of neighbors' complaints about the dogs' barking.
The shelter, named after its founder who is known as "Wuyi" (Aunt Wu), is now home to 500 dogs and 30 cats.
She was moved by the stray dogs and cats - many of them hurt or ill - that would come foraging for food, and she started taking them home.
She initially hid her growing number of pets from her friends and neighbors, because she was afraid they would mock her. But volunteers at the shelter yard now affectionately say the animals are her kids.
The shelter has been operating for five years. The team members forcibly seized 800 cats from illegal vendors on Aug 31 last year, and since then they have become known as "800 Cats". The philanthropic institution is widely backed by many well-established organizations, including the Tianjin Protective Pet Association, that generously donate pet food.
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