A life-changing moment has finally come for Demacia, a six-month-old stray dog in the central Chinese city of Changsha.
Demacia was found by animal activists in a basement car park about a month ago. After a number of failed attempts to find its owner, the dog was taken home by a volunteer.
On Saturday afternoon, 51 cities across China such as Beijing and Shanghai, held a pet adoption day to promote "adoption instead of buying."
Initiated by Beijing Adoption Day, a public-minded platform based in the capital, the annual event has been held five times.
Demacia was among 30 dogs and 10 cats waiting to be adopted in Changsha. The event was arranged in a downtown shopping mall. Each animal had their own profiles including ages, personalities and health conditions next to them. To relieve their nervousness, each was assigned a volunteer to feed and introduce them.
The place was packed with people, mostly parents and their children. The information desk was even more crowded with many consulting the adoption process and filling out application forms.
Before long, Demacia won the love of 29-year-old Xue Pingping and her son.
"We used to keep a dog in our family. My son fell for Demacia at first sight. After the volunteer's introduction and some discussion with my husband, we decided to adopt the cute little thing," Xue said.
As soon as they filled out the form, the family came back to Demacia's cage and confirmed the date for a "home visit" with the volunteer.
"We have to make sure the new owners are the most suitable ones for the animals. So after initial screening, our volunteers will pay them a visit to double confirm. The potential owners have to sign an adoption agreement and produce a copy of their ID information before they can have the animals in their arms," said Hu Yiming, organizer of the Changsha event and also a director of a charity for stray animals.
"The procedure is complicated, but well worth it," Hu said.
He Hao was also among the crowd, with his own dog.
"I adopted the dog on June 17 last year and named it 17 to commemorate the date of our meeting," He said.
He said the whole family love animals. His son even applied for animal medicine as his major at university.
Next to the the animals, a charity sale booth was also popular. All the sales from pet snacks, toys and supplies will be used to help stray animals. Voluntary animal doctors were also offering free consultations.
It was the third time for Wen Haitao, director of a local animal hospital, to participate in the event.
"I can see the improvement of pet protection efforts in China in recent years, as more cities have introduced guidelines for keeping pets and animal charities have mushroomed," Wen said.
Hu's animal rescue institution is now operating at full load with 150 dogs and 13 cats.
"To ensure the living quality of each and every animal, we are no longer taking in new ones, unless some are adopted," Hu said.
"Animals can not be saved by an institution, but by the good heart of everyone in society," said Xia Bing, a volunteer. She takes pictures for animals during her leisure time and hopes that her photos can bring in more people.
As of Saturday evening, Hu had received over 130 applications, an increase compared with previous events.
"About 70 percent of the animals will be adopted, which is more than last year," Hu said.