Dogs Rescued From Yulin Dog Meat Festival Get Second Chance in Florida

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Dozens of dogs rescued from a controversial dog-eating festival in China are getting a second chance in South Florida.

Good Karma Pet Rescue in Fort Lauderdale says the dogs were intercepted before the annual 10-day Yulin Dog Meat Festival, in which it’s believed some 10,000 dogs are slaughtered and eaten.

The group brought a total of 36 dogs to South Florida. They enjoyed a spa day Wednesday with students at the Merryfield School of Pet Grooming as the group works to find them forever homes.

“Some of these dogs have never played with a toy, they’ve never touched grass before and they’ve certainly never had a spa day so we’re happy to be able to make this partnership and make these dogs feel really good today because they’ve probably never had a good bath or a groom in their lives,” said Devon Soto, with Good Karma.

Many of the dogs already have applications from families ready to welcome them, but some are still up for adoption.

“They should hate people and they don’t and it’s so wonderful that we can get them homes now because that’s what we do, that’s what Good Karma does, we find homes for these great little lives,” Good Karma’s Deb Griffith said.

For more information on the dogs, visit goodkarmapetrescue.org.

The controversial Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, otherwise known as the Yulin Dog Festival, is a fairly new tradition in southern China to celebrate the start of the summer solstice, though dog-meat consumption has taken place in throughout regions of Asia for thousands of years. 

Promoters say eating dog meat during the summer helps ward off the heat and maintain a healthy metabolism. Opponents say the festival is cruel and has no redeeming cultural value.

An estimated 10 million to 20 million dogs are killed for their meat each year in China, and the Yulin event has become a lightning rod for criticism.

Many of the dogs are believed to have been pets stolen from their owners or simply picked up off the street. They are stuffed in cages, and trucked to the city about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) south of Beijing in the province of Guangxi, often without food or water.

Cats eaten at the festival are subjected to similar ill treatment.

The local government has in recent years sought to disassociate itself from the event, forbidding its employees from attending and limiting its size by shutting down some dog markets and slaughter houses.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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  • Towels and blankets - Shelters are often cold and animals like to have a blanket to curl up on. Towels are a big help to dry animals off after being bathed or if they come in wet. Towels can also be used to line the bottoms of cages. The towels or blankets don't have to be brand new or in perfect condition. The animals won't mind, as long as they're usable.
  • Canned and Dry Food for Cats and Dogs-Healthy - Healthy pet options for nourishment
  • Kitty litter and cat boxes - Cats go to the bathroom- a lot. Shelters are constantly using bag after bag of litter. Their supply runs out fast.
  • Puppy or kitten formula and nursing bottles - Sometimes there are situations where a young puppy or kitten who is not weaned gets separated from their mother. In these situations they need puppy or kitten formula to survive.
  • Old newspaper - When you're done with your newspapers you usually just throw them away or recycle them, right? You could help animals at no cost to you if you just save up your old newspapers. Newspapers are used in the bottoms of cages. They get soiled quickly, so they're in constant demand.
  • Collars, harnesses, and leashes - Dogs who are taken out on walks need a leash and collar or harness. The shelter loses some because adopted dogs often go home with their leash or harness.
  • Grooming supplies - Grooming supplies can include shampoo, brushes, combs, haircutting scissors, etc. Dogs and cats often come in dirty or end up getting dirty. Grooming supplies can keep them fresh, clean, and adoptable.
  • Toys - You would get bored if you had to lay in a crate alone all day, wouldn't you? Animals in shelters get bored, too. It keeps the animals from being so lonely and bored and allows them to get exercise. You could go out and buy new toys, or you could donate toys your pets or children may have not gotten much use out of. It's as simple as that.
  • Crates and carriers - Animals need to be transported somehow, and the cost of multiple crates and carriers can add up quickly. You can donate ones you stopped using that are still in good condition or you could go buy one for a decent price. This helps the shelter tremendously.
  • Paper towels and cleaning supplies - There are a lot of situations that get messy, so paper towels are a big help.
  • Hand wash and hand sanitizer - People who work at shelters need to keep their hands clean for their and the animals' health.
  • Laundry detergent, fabric softener, and bleach - Towels and blankets get soiled often so the washing machines are being used a lot
  • Dog and cat beds - this can offer the animals a soft place to lay instead of a kennel or cage floor.
  • Heating pads - Many animals come in cold or are young and need warmth. Heating pads can replace a mother's warmth.
  • Copy paper and pens, pencils, post-it notes and staples - You can't forget about all the paperwork that has to be done. Donating these items makes it so the shelter doesn't have to buy them on their own.
  • Garbage bags, mops, brooms, and sponges - The shelter uses these every day and clean up supplies can get expensive.
  • Food bowls - As new animals come in, the shelter needs new places to put food. Having an adequate supply could mean life or death for an animal in a shelter.
  • Rubber and latex gloves - A lot of messy stuff happens and gloves are necessary to lessen the spread of germs.
  • Plastic shopping bags - Plastic bags can be used to clean up dog mess and to store things in.

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