In Chinese, the phrase “duo duo” means “abundance.” Sunnyvale resident Andrea Gung named a mixed breed that she rescued from the dog meat trade in China “Duo Duo,” as she wished an abundance of love for her canine pet. In 2013, Gung founded the Duo Duo Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Sunnyvale to advocate for humanity against China’s dog meat trade.
“When I visited China in 2012, I learned about this illegal cruel dog meat trade and I decided to start this non-profit,” said Gung, who was born and raised in Taiwan. “Our approach is to use education to change the young generation’s hearts and minds about dogs and cats so they see them as family members and not food. Dogs, as companions, help people experience less stress. There are also guard dogs, hearing aid dogs, seeing dogs and therapy dogs who help people.”
Gung’s work involves traveling to China with a team, which has included American and Taiwanese veterinarians. The current COVID-19 outbreak is delaying the Duo Duo Project’s work.
“Everything we have planned to do regarding traveling to China in February and March has been put on hold because of the coronavirus,” Gung said. “As soon as the airlines start flying again between China and San Francisco, we’d like to resume our travel plans.”
The Duo Duo Project hosts pet adoption days in Chinese cities, such as Yulin, where there is an annual dog meat festival.
“In China, we also put on educational programs, such as animal welfare summer camps,” Gung said. “We have a campaign called Compassion Beyond Borders. We have trained the teachers so the teachers can put on the same program in China.”
Gung explained that the Duo Duo Project also supports animal shelters in certain parts of China and offers a spay and neuter program.
“We support shelters in areas, such as the Guangxi and Guangdong provinces and the Dong Bei region, where dog eating is rampant,” Gung said. “Spaying and neutering dogs is intended to reduce the supply of dog meat.”
The Duo Duo Project is volunteer-run. Gung is currently seeking volunteers who can assist with fundraising and social media communications. She is also looking for volunteers who can produce a digital animation story or a short public service announcement to be shown in China with subtitles.
“Not everyone in China eats dogs,” said Gung, dispelling a stereotype about the Chinese. “According to the Humane Society International, only 2.3 percent of the population in China eats dogs. Most Chinese people, especially young people, actually despise this practice of eating dogs.
“Some people might ask why we are helping animals in China while we have our own animal problems here,” Gung continued. “The answer is that it really does not take that much to help because the animal welfare here is so much ahead and we have so much to share. Just a little help would go a long way in China.”
Visit www.duoduoproject.org to contact the Duo Duo Project and to learn about the organization.