The Yulin Dog Meat Festival, where people feast on dog meat is enough to hurt the heart of any animal lover, and thankfully, this inhumane event is under increasing pressure from animal rescue organizations around the world who are determined to put an end to it.
One of these is China Rescue Dogs who are on a mission to rescue and rehabilitate dogs from the meat trade in China and provide them with loving homes in the United States and Canada.
Working with trusted shelters across China, the team at China Rescue Dogs works to remove these canines from harm, treating their injuries and socializing them so they can be rehomed.
It’s an important job but one that has been made harder by the pandemic, with ongoing travel restrictions between China and the United States making it impossible to transport or export the dogs.
But Jill Stewart, the founder of China Rescue Dogs wasn’t about to let Covid-19 get in the way of her mission. With the Yulin Dog Meat Festival scheduled to take place on the 21st of June, Stewart was forced to think fast to try and save some of the thousands of dogs that are slaughtered for the event each year.
With Canada accepting dog transports from China, Stewart and her team set up a satellite office in Vancouver where the rescued canines could fly to before traveling on to the organization’s new base in Washington State.
"We flew the dogs into Vancouver first, where they cleared Canadian Customs," Jill Stewart, the president and founder of China Rescue Dogs, said in a statement. "We then loaded the dogs up into cargo vans, crossed the border at Blaine, Washington, where they then cleared U.S. Customs. We then drove the rescues to Seattle where they spent the night at a Pet Spa before flying out on Alaskan Air the next day to their forever families across the United States."
Thanks to their quick thinking, China Rescue Dogs has already managed to save 181 dogs that would have ended up at the meat festival and they hope to save dozens more before the end of the month.
"It was and still is an enormous undertaking," Stewart added. "But the sleepless nights, and the days and weeks of paperwork, are worth it once you see their happy faces and wagging tails. We made a commitment and a promise to save these dogs from going to Yulin, and we are doing everything we can to make sure they can live the rest of their days with love and without fear."
It costs China Rescue Dogs $52,000 to fly 26 dogs in climate-controlled planes from China to Canada. They’re looking to raise $100,000 to help fund the next two trips and are currently halfway towards meeting their goal. If you’d like to donate or learn more about the important work this amazing organization is doing, you can visit their fundraising page or website.
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past three years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with a very mischievous Cocker Spaniel and a super sassy cat, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.