This is the first piece by our new entertainment & youth culture writer, Zoe Wang. Over the coming weeks and months Zoe will be reviewing a number of Taipei’s relatively unknown cafe hangouts.
In recent years more than a few hip, modern new cafes have sprung up around the city, giving residents of Taipei many more choices in off-time hangout options.
One cafe, vintage in its appearance and nostalgic in its ambience, but overlooked by most is located in a small alley just off Linsen North Road where it combines cafe culture with its role as an animal shelter of sorts.
It is on this second role I will focus today … overly fluffy food descriptions I shall leave for others for now.
So, back to this shelter for stray animals fronting as a cafe. Or is it the other way round?
Pet Halfway House & Cafe is an unusual project. Not far from the Shandao Temple MRT Station (or the Huashan 1914 Creative Park), the cafe is always thronging with people eager to interact and spend time with its adorable stray critters; and in its very existence is an alternative place to end up for animals that might otherwise be on the street looking for scraps to eat, caged in local animal shelters or, until recently, scheduled for euthanasia.
After being moved to the cafe by staff, the animals here are given all the time they need to settle in. Comfortable pet friendly furniture with ample food and water make up their surroundings, and before meeting potential adoptive families, for they do not stay here forever, as the ‘Halfway’ name implies, they spend time interacting with visitors to the cafe.
The interaction with prospective new owners works two ways, as during the temporary period spent in the cafe, their potential future humans can be accessed up close to see if the cats and dogs really do like them, or not. There are no cold steel cages here through which animal and human must merely gaze upon the other.
Taking turns to play with the human visitors to the cafe is the only real duty of the animal staff, however, there are several rules that humans coming to the cafe need to follow.
First up are reservations – advisable to guarantee a 90 min stay. Each human must also disinfect with alcohol thoroughly before entering the cafe, no matter if they’re going to touch the animals or not. And of course, during meals taken in the cafe, feeding animals, or leaving food on tables is prohibited.
Disturbing an animal’s sleep and forcing behavior is similarly taboo.
Those human visitors considering adopting animals, should of course apply to the cafe staff and thereafter they will be carefully evaluated to make sure they live in an appropriate residence and are suitable to be pet owners.
And, even if customers don’t intend to adopt any animals, simply enjoying meals in the presence of different kinds of cats and dogs is something almost all enjoy, particularly so in the knowledge that 3% of the price of meals served is donated to a project that helps neuter stray animals and to pay for any surgical needs.
So, whenever you’re stressed out by work or the trifling trivialities of daily life, leave it all behind and visit the Pet Halfway House & Cafe.
Time spent with the animals here will recharge even the most depleted of batteries.
Pet Halfway House & Cafe
|Address||Opening Hours||Rating by TTT|
|No. 13, Lane 9, |
Linsen North Road
Taipei City, Taiwan 100
|Daily, 12:00 – 9:00 pm||★★★★★|