Rescue Saves Dozens of Canines from Slaughter Ahead of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival

China Rescue Dogs has saved over 180 dogs this year by setting up a new office in Canada

Dogs Rescued Ahead of Yulin dog Meat Festival
Photo: Sam Scaman

Dozens of dogs are getting a new start thanks to an animal rescue organization's hard work and quick thinking.

China Rescue Dogs is dedicated to "saving dogs from the slaughterhouses, meat trade, abuse, and neglect in China," according to a release from the nonprofit. Unfortunately, their work became challenging during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused restrictions on travel between China and the United States.

Currently, the transport and export of dogs from China to the United States is not allowed by the customs authorities in China, per China Rescue Dogs. Even with this obstacle, the nonprofit decided to move forward with its rescue work, especially with China's Yulin Dog Meat Festival approaching.

The festival, though declining in popularity, leads to the slaughter of hundreds of dogs each year. To help save the canines that could be sent to slaughter for the June 21 event, China Rescue Dogs set up a satellite office in Vancouver, Canada, and moved their operations to Washington state, so they could transport dogs through Canada — which is currently allowed to accept dog transports from China.

By implementing these changes quickly, China Rescue Dogs has continued its work and has rescued 181 dogs so far through their new Canada office — and plans to save dozens more in June.

Dogs Rescued Ahead of Yulin dog Meat Festival
Sam Scaman

"We flew the dogs into Vancouver first, where they cleared Canadian Customs," Jill Stewart, the president and founder of China Rescue Dogs, said in a statement. "We then loaded the dogs up into cargo vans, crossed the border at Blaine, Washington, where they then cleared U.S. Customs. We then drove the rescues to Seattle where they spent the night at a Pet Spa before flying out on Alaskan Air the next day to their forever families across the United States."

"It was and still is an enormous undertaking," Stewart added. "But the sleepless nights, and the days and weeks of paperwork, are worth it once you see their happy faces and wagging tails. We made a commitment and a promise to save these dogs from going to Yulin, and we are doing everything we can to make sure they can live the rest of their days with love and without fear."

Dogs Rescued Ahead of Yulin dog Meat Festival
Sam Scaman

China Rescue Dogs works with rescue organizations across the United States to find homes for these dogs all over America. So when the canines finish their long trip to the U.S., forever homes are waiting for them.

Along with the help of these rescues, China Rescue Dogs also works with animal rescuers in China, Paws N Pals Doggy Daycare in Seattle, Aerostream Logistics Canada, Alaska Air Cargo, and Air China Cargo to make these complicated life-saving missions possible.

China Rescue Dogs hopes to transport more pooches to the United States soon and is currently raising funds for another flight of pups. To transport 26 dogs in a climate-controlled cargo plane costs the organization $52,000 a trip. To learn more about China Rescue Dogs' work and support their efforts, visit the nonprofit's website.

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