Spared from China dog meat festival, rescued pups need homes

Despite efforts to shut it down, the annual Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival was held between June 21 and 30 in Guangxi, China

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A Toronto-based dog rescue group has saved 11 puppies from a dog meat festival in China.

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A Better Spot Foundation saved the pups from being eaten at the annual Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival run by dog meat traders in China.

Toronto’s Magnus Khun Purdy, who founded the foundation after becoming aware of dog meat markets in China in 2010, has made it his mission to save the dogs.

“A Better Spot Foundation was able to save the lives of 11 dogs this year who otherwise would have died horrible deaths, but we are heartbroken for the thousands upon thousands of dogs we could not help. We believe it is important for people to be aware of what is happening in Yulin, and the origins of this festival,” said Purdy.

“The dogs who are rescued and flown out of China are living ambassadors to stop this exceptionally cruel festival. They are given a second chance to be pets and live their best lives, bringing joy and companionship to their new families.”

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An estimated 5,000 canines were slaughtered and eaten during this year’s event, which began on the June 21 summer solstice.

According to Humane Society International, the was started in 2010 by dog meat traders to boost sales and takes advantage of local tradition to legitimize their event.

Some animals are stolen and arrive at the market still wearing collars.

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Purdy says he wished he could have saved more, but his not-for-profit foundation could only save a handful as costs to bring a single puppy to Toronto costs about $5,000.

The dog meat trade is most prevalent in Asian countries including China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and northern India, according to Humane Society International Canada.

The dogs are slaughtered by electrocution, hanging and beatings.

More than 30 million dogs are killed and eaten each year and by brutal means.

“While international scrutiny has been detrimental to this festival, it still carries on, with more of the cruelty conducted behind closed doors, away from public view and protesters. We hope that with continued exposure and negative press, pressure will be exerted for the festival to be officially stopped both in public and underground,” Purdy said.

The 11 puppies that were saved are now being fostered while they wait to be adopted.

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