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Modern Dog Magazine: Animal Champion

Marc Ching’s story begins in beautiful, natural Hawaii, where he was born and raised. His immense love and respect for animals began there, too. Growing up, his family owned and nurtured many pets. In college, Marc had hamsters, ferrets, cats, and dogs—he even had a chicken living with him in his house. After graduating, he began working in the health and medical field as a nutritionist and Japanese herbalist—and that’s where his love of critters evolved into a full-fledged career.

“People started bringing these abused animals to me in Los Angeles,” he says, adding that he launched his PetStaurant business, making high-quality, holistic, healthy food for dogs, in that city in 2011.

“In 2012 we registered as a non-profit operating as the Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation. We specialize in cruelty cases, animal abuse, locally, and there is a lot of that going on here in L.A. and in the United States. Our purpose is to push education and to teach people and children compassion: who animals are, why they’re important and why we need to be kind to them. But now I think we’re most well-known for our work in the dog-meat trade. Probably 50 percent of what we do now is focused on legislation out there, and changing the laws in China, where there are no animal-welfare laws at all,” he says. “You can torture a zebra, or a dog or anything you want, with no consequences. It is not punishable. So that’s our aim now.”

And just like that, Marc touches on what is perhaps the most heart-wrenching part of his work, his life, and his story: the Asian dog-meat trade. While most North Americans have heard this phrase, few have witnessed or experienced it firsthand.

Marc, however, has—and it has put an indelible, profound, and tragic mark on his life that he simply cannot shake.

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