Wuhan, China resident Ye Jialin is being praised for his heroic efforts to save the companion animals left behind when the city, where COVID-19 originated last year, was quarantined on January 23 to prevent the spread of the virus. As Wuhan residents were stranded outside of the city, many had only left behind a few days’ worth of food and water for their animal companions. As the quarantine lasted much longer than anticipated, Jialin volunteered to check on people’s companion animals, providing them with food, water, and cleaning services. “I speak to owners and they always ask, ‘Do you mind cleaning the litter?’ I don’t mind,” Jialin said in a video released by The Guardian. “I don’t feel afraid. What I’m scared of is getting to an owner’s flat too late, and the cat or dog is already dead.”

An estimated 30,000 companion animals were left stranded during Wuhan’s quarantine and Jialin was able to help a number of them survive without their human companions during the difficult time. “If you can do something, even if it’s a tiny thing, for society if it’s something meaningful, it still counts.” Wuhan has since slowly begun to re-open with the lockdown scheduled to officially end on April 8.

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