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Dispatch from the Dog-Meat Trade
Dogs rescued on the way to a market in China need help
Little Eddie

It’s almost inconceivable: Sick, frightened dogs crammed together in tiny cages bound for the meat market. Unfortunately in China, where dogs are eaten year-round, and more so during colder months, it’s a standard sight. But things may be changing. In an unprecedented move, Chinese authorities, tipped off by an animal-welfare center, confiscated 149 dogs belonging to an illegal trader in Sichuan Province on December 31, 2008.

“The dogs were in an appalling condition, many of them very thin and clearly in shock,” said Jill Robinson, founder and CEO of Animals Asia Foundation, which has been funding and providing medical care for the rescue. “I hate to think how long they had been in those cages, many of them packed in so tightly that they were piled on top of each other. We heard terrible screams coming from some of the cages, where terrified dogs were biting each other.”

Many of the dogs were wearing collars and were possibly stolen pets; others had been collected as strays from the streets, according to Robinson. She applauded the authorities for their quick action, which spared the dogs the terror of a four-day journey to Guangzhou with no food or water and a brutal death. Dogs are often slowly beaten to death in the misguided belief that “torture equals taste.”

During the past few weeks, Animals Asia has provided ongoing medical care (and funding for dog food) in a quarantine area at Qiming Rescue Centre, where the foundation built temporary shelter for dogs rescued from the Sichuan earthquake. The troubles for these dogs are far from over. Many suffer from disease; others are extremely aggressive. Read a recent update, dispatches from Jill Robinson's blog (with the latest on Little Eddie in the photo) and learn how you can support the foundation’s efforts.

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Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

Photo by Rainbow Zhu, Animals Education Manager for Animals Asia Foundation

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Submitted by Yvette Rubery | January 24 2009 |

Thank you for posting this story and what we can do to help. This is something that affects me deeply and I had just recently written to some animal groups to see what I could do to get involved and help stop these crimes against dogs and other animals in Asia.

Submitted by Renee W | January 25 2009 |

Thank you for letting us become aware of the horrors that these poor animals suffer in China. I went there a few years ago and saw them disemboweling live snakes in public for certain "magical" foods they eat. Torture, starvation, and lack of compassion for their own gain is unfortunately not just in China. Education is needed as well as rescues to prevent this from continuing on generation after generation.

Submitted by Anonymous | January 25 2009 |

Thank you for this information. When I first read The Bark I was impressed with your article of the plight of the dogs in Asia. I had not been aware of these hortrocities until reading your magazine. It's encouraging to know that you have such important issues as well as the fun stuff. Thank you again.

Submitted by Carol | January 26 2009 |

These dogs are also used in the fur trade. Many large chains use the fur from these dogs on coat collars, etc. Cats are also used for the same reason. Have you seen those "cute" little cats laying on a blanket looking so real? Look close. They aren't fake.

Submitted by Anonymous | January 29 2009 |

This makes me sad. I'm glad there are people, everywhere, caring when they don't have to. Thanks for this article.

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