“In China’s rural areas, dog owners allow their dogs to roam in the neighborhood,” Li said. “These dogs have become the target of the dog thieves who use poison, sharp steel string and other brutal ways to steal them.”
The United States is a country of animal lovers. Especially dogs which we treat as members of our own family.
So seeing how dogs are treated in places like China is a hard pill to swallow.
What you are about to see is terrible and astonishing. People eat dogs in China. There are even festivals dedicated to the consumption of dog meat.
According to Animals Asia, more than 10 million dogs and 4 million cats are slaughtered for the meat trade every year.
Beloved family pets are snatched from their homes.
Their limbs are broken and they suffer injuries when shoved into tiny cages. The animals are either bludgeoned to death or throw alive into boiling water in front of each other.
While many in the Asian meat trade claim their meat is raised on dog meat farms, Animals Asia claims that many meat dogs are strays or pets.
Thankfully there are people hard at work to end the consumption and sale of dog meat.
Activists were recently in Hunan, China to stop a shipment of 202 to be delivered. The local law enforcement removed the animals from the truck and allowed activists to take them since the transporter couldn’t prove he owned the dogs.
The animals were brought to local animal hospitals and other rescue facilities like Humane Society International.
Rescuers say that the animals almost seemed relieved. Like they knew they were getting a second chance at life.
“The moment the dog truck was forced to stop, the dogs seemed to know their plight was ending,” Peter J. Li, Ph.D., China policy specialist for Humane Society International, told The Dodo. “At the animal hospital, the 20 dogs in the HSI-funded facility were extremely cooperative with the vets.”
These poor dogs were in dire conditions with broken bones, festering wounds, fly and maggot infestations, and diseases like distemper.
As a result, 13 dogs died from these conditions after they were rescued.
“They died due to weeks of abuse and food deprivation in the hands of the dog meat traders,” Li said. “Despite the care and loving, gentle treatment [they received] in the hands of the activists.”
Many would expect animals who received such a high level of abuse to be untrusting or even violent but that wasn’t the case.
Rescuers suspect that the animals were easy going and affectionate because they were domesticated pets.
Some dogs are still wearing the collars their owners gave them when they are captured and sent to the meat markets.
About 20 percent of China’s population is believed to consume dog meat which keeps the industry in business.
When all of the rescued dogs recover, they’ll be put up for adoption.
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“Since these dogs were household pets or rural guard dogs, they are social and showed behaviors [indicative] of a life in loving households,” Li said. “They are very close to the vets, vet technicians and volunteers who are helping them.”
So they should easily adapt to their new life.
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