With over 30,000 cats, dogs and other pets stranded following the lockdown of Wuhan, volunteers have taken to the streets to check in on and care for the abandoned animals.
By, 17 Feb 2020
Ye Jialin has a dangerous and yet unpaid occupation. It is his task to wander the deserted streets of Wuhan, China to reach houses and apartments where pets are marooned.
On January 23rd this year, following the outbreak of Coronavirus, the city was all-but sealed off by the order of the Chinese government. Many residents fled and those remaining have been told to stay indoors.
It is for the 30,000 pets now ownerless and helpless that Ye Jialin's concerns lie. He and other volunteers are contacted by owners, who fled the city, worried about the wellbeing of their pets.
Proxy pet care
In a video published by The Guardian, Ye Jialin's duties are perilous, not just because of the ever-present threat of infection, but also of the strict martial law imposed on the city to curb unnecessary travel. Undeterred, Ye Jialin enters the properties of owners using either a key or code pad, or at times being sanctioned by the owner to break in. He checks the health of the dog or cat, feeds it, waters it and cleans up any mess it has made.
Ye Jialin hopes the city will return to normal one day soon, but in the meantime he is satisfied to help owners who, on their return, will be reunited with their pets.
You can watch Ye Jialin's video here: