Local Shelters Take in Dogs from China’s Yulin Meat Festival

Yulin Meat Festival rescue dogs
Yulin Meat Festival rescue dogs, Photo: Courtesy Deborah Hall

Two Hamptons shelters, Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF) and Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) in East Hampton, have agreed to take in 11 dogs rescued from the barbaric Yulin Meat Festival, a celebration of dog meat, lychee and other local fare in China.

After a lot of preparation and almost six months of intense care to nurse them back to health, the dogs, which were “severely abused and beaten and traumatized,” are arriving next Tuesday, December 13, and they will be available for adoption.

The courageous and dedicated people responsible for this rescue include Jeffrey Beri, who works with the Phuket, Thailand-based Soi Dog Foundation, and Deborah Hall of California advocacy group Davey’s Voice. Before Beri and Hall made it to China, a brave, young girl named Lia Lee, the “Chinese heroine in dog rescue,” worked nonstop on this mission for five months. She and Hall rescued the dogs in June, putting triage in place at a local safe house, and in the following three weeks rushed dogs to hospitals, filling every one in the southern Chinese city of Nanning.

Yulin Meat Festival dogs
Yulin Meat Festival dogs, Photo: Courtesy Candy Udell

Then Beri arrived and took it from there, setting up urgent care, administering lifesaving care at the safe house, establishing proper protocols and training all staff. Along with teaching the abused dogs to trust and love again, he had each one vaccinated and microchipped, and set up a global database—all while fighting off attacks from opponents to the cause.

Lee, Hall and Beri, who work closely with Humane Society International, are responsible for rescuing these dogs from death’s door and arranging transport to the U.S from China.

Soi Dog Foundation committed to pay for transport of 100 dogs, while London Jewelers owner Candy Udell—who was works with Rescue Paw Foundation and is on the executive board of the Pet Philanthropy Circle and HEART—helped raise the funds needed to transport 11 dogs to the East End. 

Flight volunteer Jason Walker is flying the dogs here from China.

Meanwhile, Beri and Lee remain on the front lines in China, and Hall continues her work from the states. “It has been a team effort on all fronts to save these slaughterhouse survivors,” Hall says. “Truly a miracle!”

RELATED: ARF Helps Rescue 100 Dogs from Puerto Rico

Yulin rescue being nursed back to health
Yulin rescue being nursed back to health, Photo: Courtesy Candy Udell

Explaining her reasons for placing the dogs at the two East End shelters, Udell calls Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation and ARF “two of the finest shelters on Long Island,” while pointing out their excellent reputation and care for animals who need true rescue. “It takes a village! Everyone is working together to help make this a cruelty-free, sustainable world,” she adds. “By bringing the dogs here from the Chinese meat market we are all working to start a movement for here and China to make the world a better place for the animals.”

SASF Executive Director Jerry Rosenthal thanked Udell for all her love and hard work to save these lives. “As the community shelter, an open door admissions shelter, our main responsibility is to our local strays and owner surrenders. But when we have the space to help we will. Saving lives has no borders. These dogs are in need dire need of help,” he explains.

SASF Director of Public Relations and Marketing Kate McEntee notes, “These dogs were bred for human consumption and now have a different fate with SASF. We will find great homes here in the Hamptons.”

During the 10-day Yulin Meat Festival in Yulin, China, some 10,000 dogs and cats are killed and consumed.

Visit arfhamptons.org or southamptonanimalshelter.com to find out more, including how to adopt one of these dogs.

Yulin survivor
Yulin survivor, Photo: Courtesy Candy Udell

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