Lifestyle Pets 60 Dogs Rescued from China's Dog Meat Trade Need Your Help to Find Loving Forever Homes China Rescue Dogs is working to raise the funds to fly the canines they pulled from the dog meat trade to North America, where they will be put up for adoption By Kelli Bender Kelli Bender Kelli Bender is the Pets Editor for PEOPLE Digital and PEOPLE magazine. She has been with the PEOPLE brand for more than eight years, working as a writer/producer across PEOPLE's Lifestyle, Features, and Entertainment verticals before taking on her current role. Kelli is also an editor on PEOPLE's Stories to Make You Smile and serves as an editorial lead on PEOPLE's World's Cutest Rescue Dog Contest and Pet Product Awards. Before joining PEOPLE, Kelli helped AOL and Whalerock launch a pet lifestyle site called PawNation. She is a pet parent to a cat named Wallace, and her professional and personal devotion to animals has taken her to three dog weddings ... so far. People Editorial Guidelines Published on January 14, 2021 03:56 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Courtesy China Rescue Dogs China Rescue Dogs is working to create happy endings for 60 canines rescued from China's dog meat trade. The non-profit organization is committed to pulling pooches from the dog meat trade and placing them in loving forever homes in the United States and Canada. China Rescue Dogs has placed dozens of pups with new families over the past year, even with the challenges and travel restrictions caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and now they are looking to add to that number. China Rescue Dogs and 12 other U.S. dog rescue organizations are currently working on getting a new group of 60 dogs stateside by the end of January. According to Jill Stewart, the president and founder of China Rescue Dogs, there is an "urgency to save as many dogs as we can before the Chinese New Year." "The country basically shuts down during the month of February. For their survival, we have to get as many out as possible," she added in her statement on why this rush rescue of 60 dogs is so important. For all the dogs to arrive via two cargo planes to New York City's John F. Kenney International Airport on January 28 and 29, China Rescue Dogs and their partners need to cover the travel costs of all 60 dogs. 29 Dogs Rescued From China's Dog Meat Trade Reach the U.S. and Meet Their New Forever Families After fundraising and contributing their own money, the dogs rescuers still need $14,000 to ensure that none of the canines are turned away from the trip. Courtesy China Rescue Dogs "With the public's support, we can save all 60 (so they can be adopted into loving forever homes, and lead long, happy, and healthy lives," Stewart said in a release about the rescue mission. "I don't want to think about what will happen to those dogs if we have to turn some back." China No Longer Marking Dogs as Livestock Ahead of Controversial Yulin Dog Meat Festival The travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19 have made it impossible for China Rescue Dogs to depend on commercial flights and volunteers to move dogs to the U.S. Now, the organization must rely on cargo planes to fly the dogs to the U.S., a much more expensive route that often ends up costing the group $3,500 per dog – making the donations the rescue depends on even more essential. Courtesy China Rescue Dogs "Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever," Ryan McDonnell, vice president of China Rescue Dogs, said in a statement. "This is my favorite quote. It truly does encapsulate our mission and organization." Donations to China Rescue Dog's efforts can be made at their website site. If the group reaches their goal for this January rescue, any additional donations will go to help get another 40 dogs, mostly golden retrievers saved from the dog meat trade, to North America for adoption in early February.