The 800 dogs rescued by local animal welfare organisations in Sichuan Province, China on their way to certain death in the meat trade, were taken to local shelters for assessment and care. Qi Ming rescue centre has taken in over 300, and almost 500 are now resident at the centre run by Home of Love.
Animals Asia visited the Qi Ming rescue centre to meet with manager Qui Wei and offer advice and support.
Starved, injured, stolen
The dogs have been cut out of the cages and separated into pens in the quarantine area of the facility. The condition of the dogs is variable with many bone-thin and malnourished, and several others with symptoms of disease such as distemper. One dog with obvious distemper was sent to the local dog hospital and another with a tumour was taken by a local vet for treatment. One dog died as he was being transferred to the centre.
Two large dogs have suspected broken limbs from being crushed in cages, or from cages being thrown from trucks. Several have skin wounds from cage injuries or fighting and many have infected and irritated eyes. One dog was suffering with a terrible open wound around its entire neck (possibly from a wire that had cut into it) and another had a draining abscess on its face.
We have seen much evidence of stolen dogs entering the dog meat trade over the years and now believe that they make up the majority of the meat dogs sold. Many of these dogs were still wearing collars and several were clearly domesticated – even crying when the staff and volunteers left the compounds.
While we were there, a family arrived looking for the dog they had loved for 15 years and who they believe had been stolen for the trade. Sadly, they did not find him.
The rescue of these dogs has resonated in the local community with help arriving from various quarters.
Volunteers are helping to feed and clean the dogs.
Local vets are coming to the shelter every day to offer medical care and support. Dogs that are too ill to be cared for on-site are taken back to clinics for better care.
Donated food is arriving on site regularly, with vans delivering sacks of dog biscuits during our visit.
The Chinese public is rallying behind this rescue in astonishing numbers and new stories are flooding in each day. Various fund-raisers have begun in the community – one appeal has gone out asking for RMB1 from individuals which has so far seen RMB130,000 raised in just two or three days.
The centre urgently needs disinfectant, cages, noose poles (for safe trapping of the more aggressive dogs), gowns and gloves for staff, dog sausages for medications.
A lot of dogs are still wearing collars, a clear sign they
had been stolen from their homes and families.
Animals Asia support
We have offered veterinary support to the centre including medication, visits from our vet team to assist with treatment of the dogs, and technical advice. We can provide medication for dogs with skin and respiratory disease, and antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections.
We will provide guidelines for separation and quarantining of dogs to ensure any diseases are contained. We have also offered to assist with financial support and fundraising for medicines and equipment.
These dogs are the few lucky ones that have been saved from a horrendous fate suffered by millions each year. Dogs used in the meat trade are routinely hanged, bludgeoned to death or have their throats cut while fully conscious.
We are cautiously hopeful that with care and medication, many of these dogs will survive their ordeal and with the support of the local community, will be put up for adoption once it is appropriate to do so.
We will keep you updated as their recovery progresses.