Source: Focus Taiwan (Extract)
Posted: November 08, 2023

Ten Australian firefighters paid a visit Wednesday to a stray dog shelter in New Taipei, where they made a donation of NT$235,000 (US$7,291) to assist in its efforts to rescue and protect stray animals in Taiwan.

At the invitation of Trade and Investment Queensland, the firefighters visited PACK Taiwan in Shanzhi District, a sanctuary for approximately 200 sick, disabled, abused, old and neglected dogs.

A day earlier the firefighters from “the Australian Firefighter Calendar” joined a charity auction in Taipei where they raised the money for the New Taipei shelter.

Items auctioned included the latest edition of their calendar, showcasing over 25 Australian firefighters from aviation, military, and urban fire services, posing alongside animals.

“These stray animals are just like us, they need help just like us,” firefighter Dennis Fay, an indigenous Torres Strait islander, told CNA, adding that for the last five years, he has raised money for charities by taking part in the calendar.

Since its launch in 1993, a portion of the proceeds from calendar sales, totaling over US$3.4 million, has been directed towards charitable organizations across Australia, according to David Rogers, the calendar’s director.

The calendar has a history of supporting animal refuges and Australian wildlife and will continue to do so, Rogers told CNA.

Australia’s rural firefighters and children suffering from cancer also benefit from donations, he added.

Patrick Hafenstein, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner in Taiwan said Australian firefighters have been visiting Taiwan since 2018. Wednesday’s visit marked their first promotional event in Taiwan since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Glenn Lio (劉少浡), the ANZCham executive director, the firefighters will exchange experiences with their counterparts in Taiwan, and demonstrate emergency rescue operations with policy advocate Enoch Wu’s (吳怡農) community service organization Forward Alliance.

The firefighters will leave Taiwan on Saturday.