The night before the annual Yulin dog meat festival began a truck carrying 386 dogs, some stolen pets still wearing their collars, was stopped by police.
Every year, thousands of dogs (and cats) are brutally slaughtered in the 10-day event that begins on June 21. Even though many Chinese and countless animal rights groups are petitioning for an end to the cruel festival, it continues to take place.
500 miles outside the city of Yulin a truck was pulled over by police. Hundreds of dogs were found crammed in small wire cages unable to stand and with no food or water. The dogs were in horrible condition and needed immediate medical attention. All the dogs were confiscated with the help of animal activists.
One of the rescuers, Lin Xiong, told HSI, “It was horrifying to see so many dogs in such an appalling state, it was like a truck from hell for these poor animals. They had probably been on the truck for days, dehydrated and starving, many of them with visible signs of injury and disease. We could see their petrified faces peering out from the cages and we knew those dogs were headed straight for Yulin slaughterhouses where they would have been bludgeoned to death. The Shaanxi police response was really impressive, they came out in force and pulled the truck over, taking the dogs under police control when the driver was unable to prove he’d acquired and transported them legally. It was a very tense time for us but thanks to the authorities, these dogs are now safe in police quarantine where they can get food, water and rest. If only all police across China would have such a firm zero tolerance approach to these dog thieves and traffickers, it would be the end of the dog trade here. The dog meat slaughter brings shame on our country and so we will keep fighting until we see an end to this suffering.”
People continue to fight for the lives of the innocent dogs. Most people in China do not eat dog meat and are against the cruelty.
Peter Li, Ph.D., China policy specialist for Humane Society International, said, “Despite the fact that most people in China don’t eat dogs, dog eating hotspots in the south such as Yulin do still exist and millions of dogs continue to suffer terribly.” He went on to call the rescued dogs, “the lucky few”.
The dogs, who range in size and breed, are finally getting the care they need. They are being held at a police quarantine facility and cared for by a veterinarian. HSI’s partner shelters are ready and willing to help the dogs find loving homes after the 21-day holding period.
In the meantime, they are helping cover the costs of their care and urging everyone to be a voice for the voiceless animals. “This is only the beginning of their story. They’ve suffered the harshest abuse and neglect, and now is when they need us the most,” posted HSI. Donate to their care here.
HSI posted a clip of the rescue on Facebook, and you can see it below.