For animal lovers, it’s unfathomable to think that there is a dog meat industry. Startlingly, the dog meat industry is quite successful in parts of China, and there’s even an annual 10-day festival that celebrates it. The Yulin Meat Festival is infamous for its abhorrent and inhumane treatment of dogs, which are tortured, murdered and eaten. Thankfully, animal rights activists are aware of the event, and there are international efforts underway to rescue dogs from such a cruel, stark fate. And those efforts extend to the East End.
For two years, the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation has worked with No Dogs Left Behind (NDLB), a nonprofit organization that works to rescue dogs from the Yulin Meat Festival, giving shelter to the animals that No Dogs Left Behind brings back from China. No Dogs Left Behind is run by former jewelry designer Jeffrey Beri. One of Beri’s closest friends, London Jewelers President and Hamptonite Candy Udell, shares a love of animals and believes in Beri’s work. “It’s fascinating to hear the work that he is doing to make change through compassion, caring and kindness,” she says.
Beri is steadfast in his journey to rescue dogs from Yulin and stop the dog meat trade, and has created a multi-pillar program to carry out his mission. “The most gratifying thing for me about helping these dogs is when I complete the five pillars to success in rescue,” Beri says. He adds that it’s very touching to see the change from “when we save the dogs, they are so scared and sick…treating them back to wellness, to seeing the change when they are in their forever homes.”
The five pillars of rescue were developed by Beri to make sure dogs saved from Yulin would be cared for properly. The first pillar involves emergency response, followed by shelter operations protocol (which includes veterinary care, vaccinations and rehabilitation), adoption, education and government advocacy. Education, in particular, is important to No Dogs Left Behind. Beri wants to teach the youth of China to love and respect animals.
“Jeffrey is selfless in his fight against one of the most heinous crimes against animals on the planet and is a powerhouse of love, compassion and sheer willpower in the fight to end the brutal abuse of dogs and the human use of dogs as meat,” NDLB board member Susan Schneider says. “He and the team at NDLB both in China and the states don’t consider their work done until all the dogs saved from the butchers’ knives are healed both physically and emotionally and have found a new life in their forever loving homes. We are grateful that the community here on the East End is so actively involved with caring for and adopting these beautiful dogs.”
For more information on No Dogs Left Behind, visit nodogsleftbehind.com.