5 Dogs Saved From Meat Markets Can't Stop Kissing Their Rescuers

30/11/2016

On November 28, five dogs landed in Chicago from China on their way to new homes. The dogs were found inslaughterhouses and meat trucks, and rescuedby Chinese animal advocates.Though harmless and adorable, all of the dogs were considered "dangerous" by Chinese law simply due to their size - above 11.8 inches - and were among 29 illegal breeds. That's when the Vanderpump Dog Foundation stepped in.

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Source: Holidog Times/Nicole Moore

It was the organization's first rescue, and the whole team put in a lot of time and effort to make it happen.Dr. John Sessa, one of the founders of the Vanderpump Dog Foundation, spoke to The Holidog Times about the process:

We've been working really hard to try and get everything done with all the rules and regulations. It's definitely been a journey.

There were 85 dogs living in the Shenzhen Dog Protection Associationsanctuary when the foundation team started working with the organization. Despite being one of the only shelters approved by the government, the dogs were living on a concrete floor in the cramped confines of urban living.

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Source: Holidog Times/Nicole Moore

The team made several trips to China to handpick the dogs for the rescue. All the animals were friendly, but thefive pooches selected made special connections with the team.

BenBen would see me coming into the shelter, and he would sprint towards me to jump into my arms.
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Source: Holidog Times/Nicole Moore

The pups spent 36 hours in the plane, and upon their arrival in the U.S., some of the dogs were hesitant, not sure if they wanted to eat or be pet. But after only an hour with the volunteers, they were all smiles, so happy for the excess of love and attention.

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Source: Holidog Times/Nicole Moore

BenBen, Coral, Jiao, Sa, and Xiabao were all taken in by Blackdogs Rescue, locatedin Kentucky, where four are still looking for forever homes. One of the dogs has already been adopted, and two are headed to nearbyCamp Jeanwhere they will have over10 acres to run around and play.

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Source: Holidog Times/Nicole Moore

Sessa spoke about Vanderpump's goals for the rescued animals:

Even though these are viable and great dogs, they'll never get adopted there. We want to start placing them internationally. We're bringing them to people who are in for the cause and really want to perpetuate our mission, which is to stop the meat trade.

The foundation is also partnered with the Stop Yulin Foreverorganizationthat wants to put an end to the annual dog meat festival which killed at least 10,000 dogs last year. Animal rights activists estimate that the number is actually closer to 40,000 dogs and 10,000 cats who are beaten and then slaughtered for food.

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Source: @Reuters/Kim Kyung Hoon

The event is no Chinese tradition. In fact, it was started in 2010 by local restaurateurs and dog meat traders in Southern China looking to make money.To add to the disturbing nature of the festival, many of the animals were stolen. It costs too much money to keep the dogs alive and fed until they can be eaten, so many still wear their collars from their former owners while they're transported hundreds of miles in cramped cages with no food or water.Thanks to the teams at Shenzhen and the Vanderpump Foundation, these five dogs will never have to fear that fate again.

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Source: Holidog Times/Nicole Moore

Sydney Glenn, one of the members of therescue team, spoke on why this extrication was so critical:

There's a problem here in our own backyards, but to me, every life matters. That's why it was so important to save these dogs because the fate they would have met in Asia would have been grim. Bringing them back meant a chance at a second life.
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Source: Holidog Times/Nicole Moore

These rescues were made possible thanks to donations from the public. The Vanderpump Foundation couldn't save all the dogs this time, but if you would like to contribute to future rescues and the amazing work that they doclick here. If you're in the Kentucky area and are looking to adopt these or any other dogs, check out the Blackdogs Rescue adoption page.

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