In June 2013, our founder Du Yufeng again made the journey to Yulin. This time she went with the intent of helping to rescue some of the dogs as well as protesting as she had done previously in 2012.
While in Yulin, Du and some of our volunteers took the opportunity to hold a protest in front of the Yulin Government Offices and as usual, dog meat eaters and traders followed their every move, intimidating them and threatening them.
Du also visited some of the government offices to deliver letters and petitions from our partner, SPCA International, Humane Society International and Hand In Hand With Asia's Animal Activists. The petitions all asked the Yulin government to end the dog meat festival and ban the dog and cat meat trade.
Some of the protests were performed in front of dog meat buyers and eaters. Du and our volunteers exhausted themselves trying to educate these people but did not give up. Du even challenged a lady who was buying dog meat from one of the butcher's stalls. The protest and festival was covered by Chinese television.
From the moment Du and our team arrived in Yulin, a few days before the Dog Meat Festival and until they left, they were protesting. Protesting in Yulin during this time is extremely intimidating but none of the name calling and harassment from dog meat eaters and traders stopped Du and our team from trying to educate them about the cruelty and harm to their health.
In between all the protesting there were dogs rescued from a horrific death by Du and other activists who had made the journey to Yulin.
Du rescued 260 dogs, Jiangxi Volunteer Association rescued 180 dogs, 87 of those died from sickness and illness and a further 15 dogs were left with volunteers from Guangzhou.
The rescued dogs were taken to a Buddhist's farm in Shangrao, Jiangxi where they were assessed, given food, water and medical treatment and then when ready, were transferred to the relevant activist's shelters.
The following photos are some of the dogs rescued by Du and our team.
Many of the dogs sent to slaughter are bitches who are heavily pregnant. Many give birth in the trucks on the way to Yulin. This was the case with some of the dogs that Du rescued. Some of the puppies died en route before Du knew about them.
*One or more of the following photos have been circulated widely around the internet, many times without the correct information. The bitch gave birth as the truck stopped at the Buddhist farm in Shangrao. Du managed to grab hold of the puppy before it fell to the ground or died while the rest of the dogs were being unloaded.
The bitch gave birth in safety to another puppy when she was unloaded from the truck.
The puppy who had tried to make an escape for freedom while on the truck was reunited with his mother and sibling.
Other mothers also gave birth to puppies when unloaded. The mothers were given high protein supplements to help them recover from their ordeal so that they could feed the babies themselves. When they were too exhausted then the puppies were given to ne mothers like the one above to feed or hand reared.
While Du was out in Yulin rescuing dogs, she was badly bitten by a bitch who had just given birth and who Du had just saved from slaughter.
The butcher actually had the clamp around the bitch's neck, ready to take her out of the cage to be killed when Du did the deal with the trader to save her and her puppies. However, when Du went to lift the dog from the cage, the bitch panicked and bit Du on the leg. Du did not blame the dog because she was frantically searching for her puppies and after what she had already seen, dogs being killed in front of her, her survival and motherly instincts kicked in.
Du had to go to hospital because her leg was in a bad way but as soon as she was able she discharged herself so that she could get back to the transfer of the dogs from Yulin to the farm.
Sadly there were dead dogs in among the live ones. Often the traders will travel for days to reach Yulin. They themselves stop for food, drink and rest but the dogs are never given that necessity and many end up dying before they reach Yulin. These dogs were given Buddhist burials by us and the other rescuers and given the respect they deserved but didn't receive during their lives.
The rescued dogs were all breeds, sizes and sex. They were unloaded from the truck and taken to various buildings on the farm according to their state. Many were very sick and needed intravenous fluids and drugs. They were intensively cared for by all the activists in turn 24 hours a day.
Each of them looked after each other's dogs to make sure the best of care would be given to them.
Some of the dogs were just too sick to be treated at the farm so they were taken to a vet clinic in Jiangning.
Many of the dogs rescued had collars on, clearly someone's stolen pet. The activists responsible for each group of dogs took photos of these dogs and displayed them on their social accounts like Weibo, QQ, etc, appealing for the owners to come forward. Often no one sees their dog on the internet. Remember that the dogs may have been stolen from across China and exchanged hands a few times before the trader brings them to Yulin. When no one comes forward to claim their pet, once the dog is well again it will be put up for adoption.
There are still many people who keep dogs in China. Not as pets but as guard dogs and one of the dogs that Du rescued, a German Shepherd which she named Hei Bei (meaning Black Shell), looked to be a guard dog.
Hei Bei did not like being inside and preferred being close to doors. He was extremely thin when he was rescued with patches of his skin infected and crusted over with scabs. He soon responded to treatment and his skin was clear not long after his rescue.
The activists who rescued the dogs from Yulin 2013 decided to help the Buddhist monks, who had given the dogs a safe haven at their farm, build a shelter in Shangrao for their dogs. They knew that the monks would give the dogs a loving home for the rest of their lives and that the activists could visit them any time.
So the building work on the new shelter began and soon it was finished and ready for it's new residents.
The aim of any animal rescue organisation is to rescue dogs like these and have them adopted and that is what happened to one lucky little dog rescued from Yulin Dog Meat Festival 2013.
Niu Niu (meaning girl girl) recovered well from her ordeal and did not have any long lasting health problems.
Her new adoptive parents, Mr & Mrs Qian drove all the way from Zhejiang to Shangrao (approx 4 and a half hours) to take Niu Niu home with them.
Our founder Du Yufeng has visited Yulin Dog Meat Festival every year since 2012.
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