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Aug 7, 2019 9:51 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Animal Shelter Partners With Global Animal Rescue Organization To Save Dogs From Yulin Meat Market In China

The dogs are crammed into cages and transported to the festival. COURTESY JEFFREY BERI
Aug 7, 2019 11:28 AM

Panda, a 3-year-old female collie mix, walked timidly beside her handler, Ashley Tallon, from the Southampton Town Animal Shelter’s main entrance to a small wooden pen on Tuesday.With her black-and-white tail tucked between her legs, she watched as fellow shelter dogs Petunia, Haung Huang and Reggie each got fitted with a black bandanna emblazoned with the words: “I survived Yulin.”

Panda was placed at the Hampton Bays shelter last week, and was one of 150 dogs that were rescued from just one truck on its way to the annual Yulin Meat Market in China last month—to deliver them to a startling fate.

The 10-day Chinese festival began in 2009 and is held to mark the summer solstice, during which visitors eat dog meat. Dog meat was once considered a delicacy in China, but it had fallen out of favor for centuries, until the new festival revived the practice.

Since 2016, No Dogs Left Behind, a global animal rescue organization led by Jeffrey Beri, has rescued and rehabilitated more than 3,000 dogs and closed four slaughterhouses across China.

Every year, the nonprofit estimates that 10,000 to 15,000 dogs are tortured and killed, many of which are said to have been stolen from their owners, “as indicated by their collars that are still around their necks.”

“These dogs, many of them were stolen from their homes, tortured and tossed into chicken cages — some of them have brothers and sisters that are dead,” Mr. Beri said. “Every day, they don’t know if they’re going to live or die.”

This year will be the second year that the Southampton Town Animal Shelter has worked with No Dogs Left Behind, according to Kate McEntee, director of adoptions and fosters. “Whenever we have extra room and extra kennels, we always look for animals in need,” she said.

In 2017, the shelter was home to five or six dogs that were rescued from the Chinese meat festival — all of which were adopted. “That was our first introduction to them, and now it’s pretty cool because we’re doing it again,” Ms. McEntee said.

Susan Schneider, a board member of No Dogs Left Behind, said on Tuesday that the organization spends approximately $1,500 to chip, vaccinate and ship each dog to local shelters like the Southampton Town Animal Shelter, as well as the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons in East Hampton, which has also recently accepted dogs from China.

No Dogs Left Behind also operates two of their own shelters in Beijing and Hunan.

Mr. Beri, who was greeted with kisses from Reggie and Petunia via FaceTime on Tuesday morning, attributed the organization’s success to its five-tier approach, which includes emergency response, veterinary care, educational awareness, legislation, and, ultimately, adoption.

“We believe that rescue has no borders, and we have chosen to fight animal cruelty in the worst region on the planet — and that’s China,” he said.

He predicted that the Chinese festival would be shut down by animal activists within the next two years.

“When we send dogs to shelters like the Southampton Animal Shelter, that creates an uptick in adoptions,” he said. “These dogs walk the streets as ambassadors to the movement.”

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Why is it okay to eat pigs and cows but not dogs and cats?
By Aeshtron (351), Southampton on Aug 8, 19 4:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Habit, maybe?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7302), HAMPTON BAYS on Aug 8, 19 4:25 PM
Because a unique affinity has developed between canines and humans over thousands of years.

For some reason I'm not surprised that to Fore1gnBornHBgrown, the concept seems strange, and is attributable to something as insubstantive as habit.

An utter lack of humanity is typical in the primitive, backwards cultures indifferent to the abuse of dogs.
By MoronEliminator (209), Montauk on Aug 9, 19 9:35 AM
That's what I said. Thousands of years of habit.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7302), HAMPTON BAYS on Aug 9, 19 9:39 AM
It's a cultural thing, of course.
And with increasing globalization all these cultures are meeting and clashing as never before.
In India it is definitely NOT okay to eat cows.
In Japan it's okay to eat dolphins.
City people are freaked at the idea of eating Bambi; country people hunt to feed their families.
And so on.

I think what really disturbs about this story is that these dogs who have been raised as pets are being slaughtered as food. That feels like a betrayal, ...more
By SilverSnail (15), Hampton Bays on Aug 9, 19 8:05 AM
It's far more than culture when it comes to canines.

Dogs have been partnering with, and as a result selected for traits amenable to living with humans for thousands of years. While other species have been domesticated, dogs have co-evolved with humans to the point human/canine relationships are as natural as wolf/pack relationships. No other interspecies relationship comes close to what has developed with this one.

Besides, this isn't even about culinary preferences. The means ...more
By MoronEliminator (209), Montauk on Aug 9, 19 9:42 AM
We eat hotdogs here, close enough.
By Fred s (2867), Southampton on Aug 9, 19 9:43 AM
Making an exception for dogs to our treatment of other animals is casuistry. As far as we know, all animals, like ourselves, share the same emotions. We all experience suffering, pain and death the same. We LIKE dogs because they are ingratiating - - - but not steers - - - and a lamb in the form of a lamb chop but not as one of whom Mary had a little.

If you truly have compassion for animals, don't kill them, no matter how good they taste our how attractive their skin looks on your back. ...more
By highhatsize (4116), East Quogue on Aug 9, 19 6:57 PM
The Hampton Classic, Horse Show, Bridgehampton