Welfare charity Animals Asia Foundation is funding the rescue of 149 dogs from an illegal trader in China’s Sichuan province. The dogs, crammed together in tiny cages, had been bound for a meat market in the southern city of Guangzhou, China’s dog-eating capital.
The UK registered animal welfare charity Animals Asia Foundation is funding the rescue of 149 dogs from an illegal trader in China’s Sichuan province. The dogs, crammed together in tiny cages, had been bound for a meat market in the southern city of Guangzhou, China’s dog-eating capital.
The dogs were confiscated from a trading station in Pengzhou, 30km north of Chengdu, by the local Animal Husbandry Bureau after it discovered the trader was operating without a licence. The officials were notified of the situation by Mr Qiao Wei, the operator of Qiming Rescue Centre in Chengdu, who had received a tip-off about the dogs.
All 149 dogs were taken to the rescue centre on New Year’s Eve and released into the quarantine area.
Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson, along with a team from the foundation’s Moon Bear Rescue centre in Chengdu, including British vet Leanne Clark and vet nurse Emily Gorman, were at the shelter when the dogs arrived.
Ms Robinson said: “The dogs were in an appalling condition, many of them very thin and clearly in shock. I hate to think how long they had been in those cages, many of them packed in so tightly that they were piled on top of each other. We heard terrible screams coming from some of the cages, where terrified dogs were biting each other.”
According to Ms Robinson, many of the dogs were wearing collars and were possibly stolen pets; some were pure-breeds, including two dalmations and a chocolate labrador; others had been collected as strays from the streets. She appealed to families in Pengzhou that had lost their dogs to contact the rescue centre.
Animals Asia’s vet team administered emergency medical treatment to the dogs that were most in need and euthanised one dog, who was suffering from distemper. Health-checks are continuing.
Animals Asia had recently built the spacious quarantine area at Qiming Rescue Centre to provide temporary shelter for dogs it had rescued from last year’s devastating Sichuan earthquake.
“Luckily most of those dogs have since been adopted or reclaimed by their families, so we have room to house these new dogs while they recover from this terrible trauma and await adoption,” said Ms Robinson.
The foundation will provide ongoing medical care and funding for dog food.
Ms Robinson applauded the authorities for their quick action, which meant the dogs had been spared from the terror of a four-day journey to Guangzhou with no food or water and a brutal death; dogs are often slowly beaten to death in the misguided belief that “torture equals taste”.
She said: “This is a wonderful example of Chinese people standing up and saying no to the cruel dog-eating trade.”
Dogs are eaten in China year-round, but more so during the cold winter months.