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Happy New Year from China to Fellow Pet Lovers around the World

As we all look forward to a new year and take stock of the one that has passed, I find it amazing that after ten years devoting myself to educating, inspiring and supporting people about their pets, that I still get a thrill when I discover new information, or encounter people as dedicated as I am to overall pet wellness and encouraging rescue and adoption. The most shining example for me in 2014 was forming an educational partnership with Mary Peng, the founder and CEO of the International Center for Veterinary Services in Beijing, China, who is now my co-host on TAILS FROM CHINA and has become a true friend. Mary Peng first got in touch when she heard an episode about the dog meat festival in China on my NPR radio show DOG TALK® . She reached out to let me know that the public misperception of China as “a place where people eat dog” was greatly distorted because the Chinese people actually love animals and have a passion to have dogs and many other animals as pets. Born in China, raised with her siblings in Taiwan and then educated in the United States (first Barnard College, then Columbia Business School), Mary returned to live in China with the desire to provide quality information and veterinary care to Chinese pet owners, and to help protect “community owned” dogs and cats with spay-neuter programs, to rescue those in need, and to facilitate their adoption.  After a decade of Mary’s professional devotion to the dogs and cats in China, 2014 was a great year for ICVS when it culminated in having the honor of winning the Expat Life Award for Beijing’s Best Veterinary Clinic.

Our show TAILS FROM CHINA has been a wonderful cross-cultural exchange and a constant reminder that the human-animal bond is a universal truth that is proven again every time someone adopts a pet anywhere in the world and enhances the animal’s life and their own. I wanted to share the year-end letter Mary sent me because it so beautifully describes our mission — and with the hope more people will be inspired to listen to the show.

Dear Tracie — Knowing you has made my life richer and more meaningful. You have helped us reach a much bigger world of pet lovers that are learning that Chinese pet lovers are their comrades-in-arms in working for better treatment of animals and lobbying for legislation to protect our animal friends. Through you I have had the good fortune to become friends with exotic animal veterinarian and your co-host on Exotic Pets , Dr. Karen Rosenthal, Inga Fricke of the Humane Society, and many more kindred souls that have devoted their lives to helping the animals. It is so wonderful to have an international community that now know about us and are offering their support with open arms and hearts. You have done so much to help me, ICVS and the people and animals who rely on us here in China. So this year, I am giving thanks for your friendship and am thankful for the tremendous good fortune that brought you into my life. It is so gratifying and a true honor to know that you are lending us your voice from the other side of the world to support us in all that we are doing to make China a more humane society for the pets and their people. Please extend our warmest wishes for a Happy New Year to everyone at Radio Pet Lady Network, to the co-hosts and listeners of your wonderful shows, and to all the people around the world who have opened their hearts and lives to a pet.

Warmest regards,
Mary and the Family at ICVS!
International Center for Veterinary Services
No. 13-16 Rong Ke Gan Lan Cheng Shang Jie
Fu Tong Xi Da Jie, Wangjing
Chaoyang District, Beijing  PRC  100102

—Tracie Hotchner

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