It is estimated that 30 million dogs across Asia, including stolen family pets, are killed for human consumption every year. The most common countries engaging in this inhumane practice are China, South Korea, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. However, tides seem to be slowly turning as this past year, Taiwan became the first Asian country to ban the selling, purchasing, and consumption of dog and cat meat. (Note that even the US has no current laws making it illegal to consume dog meat). Nonetheless, the animal protection movement is growing across Asia and the cries for an end to animal cruelty are getting louder and louder… but, in our opinion, not yet loud enough.
China and South Korea have been on the forefront of the dog meat crisis. Marc Ching, Founder of Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation says in Forbes, "while eating dog meat in China has happened for hundreds of years, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival is not a tradition at all. Rather, it started fairly recently as more dog restaurateurs moved to the city from the countryside. Some have even claimed dog meat traders were behind the festival originally to increase sales." Hence, the uprising of torturing dogs and consuming them for meat was created by a select few as a profitable business. Since 2009, every June marks the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China. During this time, live dogs and cats are sold for human consumption. It is estimated that 10,000-15,000 are slaughtered and tortured for their meat over the course of 10 days. In South Korea, these animals are routinely prepared for meals, with an average of 17,000 dog farms across the country.
This issue has grown awareness across the world for a multitude of reasons, but mainly because people are outraged (and rightfully so) that innocent animals are experiencing severe cruelty. According to the Humane Society International, hundreds of animals at a time are crammed together in cages and driven -- sometimes for days -- to their deaths. They are often sick or injured; many die from shock, suffocation, dehydration or heat stroke long before they even reach their destination. Those who survive the journey, face a brutal and terrifying ordeal: being tortured to death.
Animal rescues, shelters, and sanctuaries from all over the world are now stepping in to help with the dog meat crisis. Many are going to Asia to become hands-on in rescuing dogs and getting them transported to safety. LA-based rescue Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation is well-known for rescuing dogs from slaughterhouses and the horrific dog meat trade throughout Asia. They make trips throughout the year to China and bring home up to 30 dogs at a time. Animal Hope & Wellness makes sure these dogs receive proper medical care like check ups, medication, and spaying/neutering if necessary. And they are not alone in this fight. Other rescues such as True & Faithful Pet Rescue Mission, Inc. have also sent teams of volunteers to China just before the Yulin Festival to bring back as many dogs as they can. In addition to working on the ground, these rescues, along with other passionate animal lovers, have worked to lobby for legislation change.
At poundWISHES, we want to highlight this issue and bring awareness to animal lovers everywhere that while these tragedies are occurring in faraway places, we can make a difference right now. With a monetary donation, rescues will be allowed to transport dogs to safety, pay for much-needed medical expenses, support healing and recovery, and find these dogs forever homes in the US. Additionally, by purchasing items off of a rescue wishlist, you can provide nurture through healthy food, a comfortable place to sleep, medication, and more. Below are two current campaigns on poundWISHES that enable you to help save animals from the meat trade in Asia. Please consider supporting these rescues' efforts through monetary donations and/or product purchases. You can make a difference today. #IBelieveinKindness
Support Animal Health & Wellness Foundation:
Support True & Faithful Rescue Mission Inc: