Lifestyle Pets 22 Dogs Rescued from Slaughterhouse Used by Shanghai Restaurants Ahead of City's World Dog Show Humane Society International is caring for the 22 dogs and will ensure each of the canines finds a loving forever home 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 April 29, 2019 05:36 PM Share Tweet Pin Email On April 30 the World Dog Show, a “joyful gathering for dog lovers and lovely dogs across the world,” starts in Shanghai, China. The presence of a celebratory canine event in a country where some still sell and consume dog meat, has many animal lovers outraged. According to Humane Society International, their partner group in Shanghai found dog meat for sale in restaurants less than 12 miles away from the expo center where the “joyous” dog show will be held. At least one of the offending restaurants had “a sign boasting that its dog meat is supplied by slaughterhouses in Xuzhou city, notorious for the country’s biggest dog meat processing industry in Peixian county, Jiangsu Province,” reports HSI. HSI’s Chinese activist partner recently visited one of the slaughterhouses in Peixian and discovered 22 flithy, injured dogs that the animal organization believes used to be people’s pets because they also found a pile of “pet collars discarded in the corner” near where the canines were caged. HSI’s Chinese activist partner was able to negotiate the release of these 22 canines, many purebred dogs, and is currently caring for the pets. The fact that some dogs in China end up in slaughterhouses, while others are brought to the World Dog Show, is a double standard that doesn’t go unnoticed. America’s Got Talent‘s Simon Cowell Donates Over $32.6K to Shut Down South Korean Dog Meat Farm “This investigation exposes the horrifying way that millions of China’s dogs are abused for the meat trade while others are pampered for the pet trade, with those two worlds colliding when pet dogs are stolen from back yards and the street to be brutally killed for human consumption. The slaughter operation where the 22 terrified dogs were rescued could easily have supplied the Shanghai restaurant that claimed to get its dog meat from Xuzhou,” Dr. Peter Li, HSI’s China policy expert, said in a statement. Li and others at HSI hope by exposing the cruel reality of the dog meat trade, China’s residents will push for the end of this outdated industry. “Most people in China don’t eat dogs, and in fact the World Dog Show in Shanghai is a prime example of a growing, younger, and more affluent Chinese population who love their canine companions and despise the dog thieves who steal their friends for the meat trade,” Li added. “It also demonstrates the huge economic benefit to China of this booming pet care industry, versus a dog meat trade that acts only as a stain on China’s international reputation. We urge China to act to end its brutal dog meat trade.” Humane Society International The double standard in Shanghai’s treatment of canines has already caused the United Kingdom’s Kennel Club to boycott the World Dog Show. 200 Dogs Saved From Cruel Korean Dog Meat and Puppy Farm That Bred Pups as ‘Friend and Food’ “The Kennel Club fully condemns the sale and consumption of dog meat and the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, held in China. The trade has long been associated with a large number of animal welfare violations, which include neglect towards the animals’ physical and mental needs … In addition, slaughtering methods are brutal with no regard to the welfare of the animal and the suffering caused … We are aware that the World Dog Show, organized by the FCI, is being held in China in 2019 and the Kennel Club will not be attending the show with its roadshow stand,” the club wrote in a statement on their website. HSI hopes this backlash to China’s dog meat trade encourages the country to shut down the dog meat industry ahead of June’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival. The annual event, which celebrities like Simon Cowell and Lisa Vanderpump have adamantly spoken out against, celebrates the consumption of dog meat and leads to thousands of canine deaths each year. For the 22 dogs rescued from the slaughterhouse by HSI and their partner group in Shanghai, there is no fear of being eaten. All of the dogs were moved to an animal shelter in north China. HSI is covering all of the animals’ medical expenses, including the treatment of their numerous injuries and skin diseases. HSI plans to adopt out many of the canines to animal lovers in China and will fly a few of the dogs back to forever homes in the U.S., once the pups are fully healed.