Did you know that it is legal to sell dogs for consumption in China? And, yes, there are people who do eat dog there. However, not everybody wants to see that happen. There are people in the Jiangsu Province of China who rescue these animals.
In fact, a group called the Ping An A Fu stray animal rescue paid $8,000 to buy all the dogs on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. All of those dogs were adopted out to loving families.
The rescue organization was started in 2002 by Ms. Ha. (Her first name was not given.) Although she is not a certificated veterinarian, she used to run a clinic that took care of the basic needs of dogs. However, she started taking in more and more dogs to the point that she ended up with more than 300.
In 2007, the government wanted to cut down on the growing stray dog population and decided to round them up and euthanize them. However, Ms. Ha decided she would take in even more dogs.
This humanitarian is so full of heart, but she faced a big challenge when a government redevelopment project threatened her operation. She had to move. That’s hard enough just by yourself. Imagine moving all 1,500 dogs and 200 cats to a new shelter. Yet, that’s exactly what she did. She moved the whole shelter to their new location in Pukou. The move got the attention of international news agencies.
Her message now is to tell everyone to please stop eating dogs. People from all walks of life are joining her crusade. She now has a whole group of activists who routinely stop trucks heading to the slaughter to renegotiate the dogs’ fate. So far, they have stopped eight more trucks and saved at least 2,000 dogs.
Believe it or not, the cost of food alone is about $200,000 per year. Plus, they are currently running out of room. However, with more Chinese wanting to own pets rather than eat them, perhaps she will end up adopting many of them out. The shift in attitude is mostly due to urbanization and increased incomes. Maybe someday dog meat will be illegal.