Dogs in China saved
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 09:54
PEOPLE POWER & SOCIAL NETWORK SAVE CHINESE DOGS
A huge lorry which contained approximately 460 dogs destined to end up on dinner plates in China was forced to stop on a highway in Eastern Beijing by an animal lover.
An Lidong knew that there were trucks transporting animals so he stopped his car in front of the truck at a toll booth and then used his blog to alert animal rights campaigners.
Eventually, about 200 animal lovers surrounded the truck and a 15-hour standoff followed. After negotiations, the logistics company released the dogs to the Lee Pet Vet Animal Hospital and the Shangshan Foundation, an animal rights charity, after they agreed to pay the company 115,000 yuan (£10,800).
The dogs were being carried in the most appalling cramped conditions and, sadly, some of them could not be saved. The following is a link to a film showing the dogs in the truck and the animal lovers trying to get water to them:
"It was one of the people who arrived that suggested we take the dogs to the China Small Animal Protection Association (CSAPA) shelter," added An.
Most of the dogs were transferred to the association's Beianhe base in Haidian district and the ones with the worst injuries were sent to animal hospitals across the capital. Unfortunately, at least 10 were already dead.
The incident has led to a nationwide debate over China's consumption of dog meat and although this story has a happy ending, campaigners are quick to point out that many more animals are not so lucky.
"We saved a truck of lives, but the sad fact is this keeps happening every day," said Lu Di, 80, director and founder of CSAPA. "We feel powerless to help those all poor creatures."
The animals rescued were suffering from dehydration, malnutrition or infectious diseases. One dog had fractures to all four legs, and another had pneumonia. Alarmingly, it is estimated that 30 percent of the dogs are expensive breeds with nametags and bells, while the majority are tame, which means they are likely stolen family pets, added Lu, a retired biologist at Remin University of China.
"It is time to show our attitude and determination, and we hope the government will take the incident seriously and quicken the legislation of small animal protection laws."
Many people from across Beijing have been helping at the CSAPA shelter and various hospitals to nurse the sick and injured dogs, assisting veterinarians to feed them medicine and to rub balm into their sores.
The CSAPA is now asking for donations to pay for neutering of the rescued animals, although staff said that their online service is currently experiencing difficulties.
The rescued dogs will be put up for adoption, but many of them are taller than 35 cm and that means, under Beijing regulations, they cannot be kept as pets within a large area of the capital.
All of us here at Animal Friends were really shocked to see this footage and can only hope that the Chinese government will eventually change their laws regarding the consumption of dog and cat meat. We also hope that every single one of those dogs will find a loving new home or be reunited with their owners. Isn't it amazing to think that one person and the power of social networking can save the lives of so many animals?