No Dogs Left Behind (NDLB) is gearing up for the upcoming transport of 30 slaughterhouse dogs from China to New York City. Most of these survivors are adopted or fostered by families in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. This 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization works with Chinese activists and volunteers to rescue canines from death in certain parts of China and rehabilitate them for eventual adoption.
This trip comes on the heels of the last transport to NYC and Canada on February 15, 2021. The 29 dogs who arrived in the U.S. had all been saved from the controversial dog-meat industry in certain Chinese cities, where dogs are held in barbaric conditions and killed for consumption. While this practice is illegal in China, there is currently no legislation in place to protect dogs.
“There’s no animal welfare laws in China,” says Jeffrey Beri, founder of NDLB. “Sustainability is a major factor in the future of our planet; the reckless slaughtering of animals must come to end.”
In the last three months, more than 230 dogs have been evacuated. Volunteers and local Chinese activists at the two NDLB sanctuaries in China work to vaccinate, treat and rehabilitate these dogs, most of whom have never experienced human kindness.
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“They’re just so badly beaten, tortured, slammed into chicken cages,” says Beri. He believes educating children on why dogs are our friends is the key to change. He often speaks at schools in Yulin, China, to teach young students that dogs are our companions. “Many of them have never touched a dog,” he says.
Yulin is the site of the annual (and horrible) dog-meat “festival,” where dogs and cats in cramped cages are tortured and eventually slaughtered for food. The next festival takes place in June.
Now we’re hearing from South Korea, where eating dog is also a strong, albeit often low-profile, practice. The Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) organization estimates that more than two million dogs are killed each year for meat in South Korea. Before they are slaughtered, they endure “horrible conditions—crammed in unsanitary cages, fed with human waste food.” In the end, many are often electrocuted, hanged, burned or beaten to death because of a belief that the animals’ suffering produces a better tasting meat and enhances virility in those who consume it.
The dog meat trade is brisk in South Korea, where dog meat traders raise and slaughter tens of millions of dogs. In China, people gather up street dogs to kill them for meat. Many dogs die from dehydration, suffocation, or heatstroke during transport, and watch as men kill their cage mates before their eyes.
With all this attention on South Korea, it’s important to recognize the situation in the North, where international public opinion holds no sway, may be even more dire. According to an Agence France-Presse story in July, North Korea has been actively promoting the virtues of dog meat, including hosting dog meat food contests in Pyongyang. According to the story, hot dog meat soup is touted for its power to prevent diseases from malnutrition and bolster stamina—making it a special summer favorite in North and South Korea.
In China, alongside local volunteers and brave activists, NDLB intercepts trucks bound for this festival as well as for slaughterhouses. The dogs are never bought, says Beri, because “purchasing a dog kills 10 more.” Instead, NDLB allied forces demand that truckers provide proper legal documentation, including health and quarantine certificates, for each canine, which they cannot do. Because the fines would exceed the cost of the dog, the traffickers eventually hand the animals over to activists.
Upcoming plans for NDLB include opening a U.S. sanctuary, purchasing a charter plane to be able to evacuate 500 dogs and helping China lead the way for change by enacting animal welfare laws.
“This is about the future of the planet and our kids, that’s who No Dogs Left Behind is,” says Beri. “Activists, volunteers and allied forces are always leading the way. We don’t believe in bringing armies; we believe in growing them. That’s a sustainable solution.”
But even though this New York native has helped hundreds of dogs, he can’t help but think of the ones he couldn’t rescue. “The dogs I can’t save are the dogs that haunt me.”
NDLB is currently seeking the funding that makes this work possible. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today. Click here to go to the NDLB donation page.