The cats’ Mao: these are the fearless people saving Wuhan’s pets

World

The cats’ Mao: these are the fearless people saving Wuhan’s pets

A few volunteers are braving the coronavirus to feed animals forcibly abandoned by their quarantined owners

Nicola Smith and Yiyin Zhong

Lao Mao – known to his friends as Old Cat – has emerged as an unlikely hero of the public health emergency in Wuhan, the Chinese city that is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

The 43-year-old has braved rusty pipes and broken windows to gain access to people’s homes, all in a good cause. Lao Mao and his six-strong animal rescue squad have saved at least 2,000 household pets from starvation after their quarantined owners were unable to return to them.

Lao Mao, a vet who runs the online pet community Wuhan Pet Life and whose real name is Shuai Lihua, believes some 20,000 animals were left at home without care when a tight quarantine was suddenly imposed on the city of 11 million on January 23...

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