Before: Marks of the Meat Market Trade on her head. The vet also noted signs of external trauma.
For the many dogs trapped in Asia’s meat trade industry, life is constant suffering and sadness ending in cruel painful deaths. Terrible, heartbreaking images of their plight will stay with us forever. Many people turn away. We cannot.
Rescue Friends Animal Foundation have partnered with Saving Harbin Dogs (SHD) whose mission is to save as many dogs as they can with very limited resources. These dogs come directly or indirectly from the meat trade, pulled from shelters, puppy mills, and local markets. All of them were saved from torture and slaughter. Sadly, we cannot rescue them all but we can rescue some.
Transport costs vary according to size and weight, making it easier to rescue a larger number of small dogs. Also, the scarcity of small dogs in the rescue world means there are families here anxiously waiting to find their new member.
After the dogs are out of danger and in the care of SHD, they are assessed and fostered. Most require extensive medical treatments due to infections and extreme malnutrition or abuse injuries and common illnesses. They must be spayed or neutered and vaccinated before obtaining exit paperwork. Then, the big journey begins starting with transport from Harbin and subsequent cargo flight from China to Los Angeles. Once they clear customs on the ground in North America, the last leg of the journey is undertaken, the long drive to Canada. This requires a specialized transport team to safely and securely ferry them North. Imagine the joyous greeting when they finally arrive in Calgary and head to foster homes to breathe, rest, play and prepare for adoption.
Adoption fee per Harbin dog: $1,950
Note: As a non-profit foundation, we are committed to keeping fees as low as possible and only aim to cover most of the necessary costs which enables us to rescue more dogs living in terror. We do not profit from these dogs.
The costs to rescue and transport:
– Veterinarian expenses
– Medical supplies
– Agent fees
– Ground and flight transport in China
– Transport between Quarantine Centre and Airport
– Veterinary Inspection Fees
– Flight costs to North America
– Brokerage and customs fees
– Ground transport from LA to Canada
– Hotels for the transport team
– Boarding kennel fees
– Grooming and basic care costs
If you have been looking for a small dog and do not want to support backyard breeders and pet stores selling puppy mill dogs, please consider one of these amazing animals who have been through so much and deserve to be loved.
If you cannot adopt at this time, please donate supplies, sponsor one of the dogs, or send a donation towards the animals via etransfer to [email protected]
If you can, please volunteer or foster to help our local animals.
Please spread the word, follow Rescue Friends Animal Foundation and Saving Harbin Dogs on Facebook and Instagram, and encourage others to ADOPT NOT SHOP.
Q: Is the dog meat trade still an issue in Asia?
A: Yes. There are an estimated 30 million dogs slaughtered for meat every year in Asia, dogs of all types and sizes. A number of local and international groups are combatting this horrific industry and successfully shutting down farms that raise animals for the dog meat trade. However, there are still many animals that need to be rescued or have already been taken out of the meat trade and require homes.
For more information:
Q: Why are dogs that appear pure bred used in the meat trade? Wouldn’t they be more valuable to be marketed as pets in China?
A: Currently in China there is a large pet industry. This encourages puppy mills which creates an overabundance of unwanted dogs who often end up with meat traders. Also many people buy cute puppies but once they become adults the ‘owners’ lose interest and put them on the street. If they are rescued, they go to shelters that are overwhelmed – filled with dogs of all sizes: pure bred types as well as mixed breeds. Rescuers are left with the hard task of choosing which dogs to save and sadly must make decisions based on which dogs are most likely to find homes.
Q: Wouldn’t the dog meat trade prefer large dogs instead of small breeds?
A: The dog (and cat) meat trade includes animals of all sizes and breeds. Dog meat is used in various ways just as various size animals are raised and slaughtered in other cultures. To be blunt, there are many pot sizes – don’t think that just because a dog is small, they are safe from harm.
Q: Who is your partner Saving Harbin Dogs? Are they trustworthy?
A: Saving Harbin Dogs (SHD) is a US registered charity operating in China. We have researched them extensively and are satisfied they are a reputable group who do amazing work saving animals from the most wretched situations. Our medical team has reviewed SHD’s medical protocols and believe they go above and beyond standard rescue norms. Saving Harbin Dogs works with rescue groups around the world to give as many lives as they can a chance to survive and thrive.
Q: Where do the dogs actually come from?
A: Our partner Saving Harbin Dogs generally pulls dogs from the local shelter that has over 3000 dogs saved from the meat trade by local activists and shelter workers. They also rescue dogs from puppy mills that are shutting down or reducing their stock and typically ‘dispose’ of unwanted animals to a meat trader. At times animals also come into the rescue network when local activists manage to stop meat trucks who often do not have proper permits. By involving agriculture authorities these animals are seized and saved from slaughter.
Q: What kind of medical treatment have the dogs received?
A: SHD follows extensive medical protocols once they are part of the rescue group, treating issues from skin disease, malnutrition, common illnesses and injuries. All dogs are fully medically vetted, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated. Dogs are typically in care for months to ensure proper quarantine has taken place.
Q: It sounds like these dogs have lived in horrible conditions. Are they afraid of humans? Are the dogs friendly?
A: Many of these dogs have lived their lives in a cage where they have at least been given food and water. This means the dogs associate humans with something good, however minimal. The dogs that were pets have actually known care and handling before being discarded. Of course, every case is unique but as part of the rescue process, they all go into foster care while being medically treated. In these homes they are loved and cared for while becoming healthy physically and emotionally as they wait for the journey abroad.
Q: Why bring dogs from China? Why not rescue dogs locally?
A: We absolutely believe in rescuing locally and are committed to it. It is probably safe to say that everyone involved in this venture is also active in local rescue. We decided to take on this initiative for 2 main reasons. First if there is not an alternative for these dogs, they would be killed in ways too graphic to describe. Secondly, there is a need for small breed dogs in the adoption world. We believe in ‘adopt not shop’ and do not want people to turn to backyard breeders and stores selling puppy mill puppies.
Q: By rescuing dogs from the meat trade are you worried you are just supporting the industry in some way?
A: This is a huge question and needs to be seen from both the micro and macro perspectives. At the local level, Saving Harbin Dogs do not buy dogs. They do not give money to the meat trade industry. They are taking in strays, discarded puppy mill dogs, or pulling dogs from over populated shelters. These local activists work so hard and without overseas partners to help them, they would simply not be able to save lives.
As you can see by the large number of dogs slaughtered each year, the small amount saved doesn’t seem to have much impact. But it certainly impacts each dog. To many people in the world, these sentient beings are worth saving and deserve to live. This is the example we want to set and if we can help, we believe we must.
While each individual dog matters, this issue also requires a macro approach and thankfully there are many large, well established international groups who are actively working at shutting down meat farms, meat markets, and slaughter festivals while at the same time lobbying governments for change. We hope you will support these groups.