34 puppies on their way to slaughterhouses in China rescued, flown to New York to be adopted
Thirty four dogs that had been on its way to being turned into canine meat in China have been saved and flown to New York after an American activist group No Dogs Left Behind saved them from animal traffickers. The group has been working to rescue dogs from the meat trade in China since 2016 and have in the years since rescued many dogs that have been flown to the US to find loving homes. They work out of a rescue shelter in China and the 34 puppies that had been rescued were flown by Air China directly from Beijing to JFK airport.
The rescue puppies consisted of various mix of retrievers, corgis, poodles, pomeranians, dachshunds, and mutts. Right after touch down in the US, they were given water and treats before meeting their new human companions. Carly Weinstein, who adopted a miniature pup named Lola, said, "I’m feeling amazing — I can’t wait to get home." The 20-year-old further added to New York Post, "It’s an amazing Christmas gift." She called Lola "The Best".
An 11-year-old who adopted a poodle named Cherry said, “I’m going to love her with all my heart." Laura O'Keefe, who adopted a dog named Chevy, said, "It is a great feeling, holding him, knowing what could have happened if he wasn’t rescued."
Another flight holding 45 more rescues was scheduled to land on Saturday.
Jeff Bari, the head of No Dogs Left Behind said, “Thirty-four survivors have landed from the brutality of China’s illegal dog trafficking! No Dogs Left Behind fights the fight on the front lines.”
He also added, "Global animal welfare laws are in order, and until that happens, we will continue to fight. We will sanction and we will boycott until change happens.”
The organization plans on bringing in as many as 135 rescue dogs to the US by early 2021. “All of the adopters have been waiting since last January for their dogs to come home to freedom, safety and love,” volunteer Maura Platz said of the dogs who arrived recently. The carrier had to split the dogs into two different groups to ensure safe oxygen levels within the cargo during the flight.
It was also reported that seven dogs that were expected to make it had died in China. There was no explanation given regarding the missing dogs to No Dogs Left Behind, and so the activist group has already begun an investigation into the same. They have also informed the family members who had been waiting to adopt these dogs of the status.
Since 2017, Beri and his team have rescued thousands of dogs from painful and torturous death by targeting slaughterhouses, wet markets, traffickers, and illegal breeders across China. China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on April 8, 2020 had reclassified dog from being "livestock" to "Companion Animals” making dog meat trade illegal. This came in the face of mounting criticism from Chinese citizens about dog meat trade.
In order to rescue the dogs from the slaughterhouses, Beri and his team had to use drones to key in on specific meat shops and approach them to negotiate. The meat shop owners were told that they can either hand the dogs over to the group and let them be adopted or face high fines from Chinese authorities.
"The fines exceed the cost of the meat, which is why they turn them over," Beri said.