On a Mission October 23 2018
Since 2009, it is estimated that as many as 10,000 dogs and cats have been tortured and killed each year at China’s Yulin Meat Festival. Many Chinese citizens have vehemently petitioned against the event and it is not endorsed by the local government, but neither are there any animal cruelty laws on the books in China.
Jeffrey Beri of No Dogs Left Behind (a 501(c)(3) organization), in partnership with Soi Dog, Deborah Hall, Lia Lee and a network of volunteers on the ground, risks his life to do the dangerous but critical work of rescuing dogs in advance of their imminent slaughter as part of the global dog meat trade (DMT). Beri and his team made history in 2016, rescuing and rehabilitating 121 severely beaten and emotionally traumatized DMT dogs—99% of which have been placed into loving homes.
London Jewelers president Candy Udell has known Beri for over 25 years through their shared goal of ending animal cruelty. “Candy helped connect me with ARF and SASF, and continues to be pivotal in this effort,” Beri explains. She sponsored 11 of the rescued pups to be flown to the Hamptons and put up for adoption—with special help from Animal Rescue Fund and Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation.
“When Candy, a longtime Southampton Animal Shelter supporter, asked if we could help, there was no way we were going to say no. Saving lives has no borders. We were able to highlight an important animal welfare issue and, more importantly, find great forever homes for these Yulin survivors,” says Jerry Rosenthal, SASF executive director.
“All our Yulin dogs were super sweet!” adds SASF director of adoptions Kate McEntee. “Thank you to everyone who helped save their lives. They are now all in their homes with loving families.”
ARF also received 21 dogs saved by Beri and his global team; all but two have been adopted. “ARF will shelter 1,700 homeless cats and dogs this year, and they all share the same story: people and communities have failed them,” explains ARF executive director Scott Howe. “The dogs ARF received from Yulin raised the awareness of our supporters to the staggering cruelty of the dog meat trade. When you stand in the face of something so inhumane, represented in the faces of these dogs, to be able to help in any way feels imperative.”
Beri agrees that bringing DMT rescue dogs here offers a critical opportunity to educate Americans on the extent of the global dog meat trade. “It makes a real emotional impact when people see these dogs; it’s been shown to boost adoption rates across the US shelter system.”
It’s critical to note that the problem is bigger than this festival and goes well beyond China’s borders, Beri insists. “There is an ongoing war against animal cruelty, 365 days a year, all over the world. We will keep working tirelessly until the global dog meat trade is a thing of the past.”
London Jewelers is a proud supporter of these efforts and looks forward to welcoming this year’s rescues! Visit nodogsleftbehind.com to learn more and find out how you can help.