The saga of a group of dogs supposedly slated for destruction and their subsequent removal from harm's way has gone viral in Yunnan.
China Daily is reporting that a truck carrying 500 dogs crammed into makeshift cages was stopped near Kunming on April 19. Several pedestrians who were concerned the dogs were being shipped to restaurants or were going to be sold illegally called police.
The shipment of dogs was on its way from Sichuan to Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Although police reportedly found the truck and its contents to be entirely legal, the dogs were bought by an anonymous businessman for 60,000 yuan (US$9,500). They were unloaded from the truck and relocated to a parking lot near Jinchuan Lu (金川路) in Kunming.
Rumors of the dogs and their plight quickly spread over the micro-blogging site Weibo. More than 200 volunteers who had been following the story on Weibo arrived at the temporary shelter Saturday night to provide whatever assistance they could.
The dogs were moved on Sunday afternoon to the Kunming Agricultural Institute (昆明农业职业学院) in the village of Xiaoshao (小哨), according to Weibo reports. Many volunteers worked for hours to provide the dogs with food and water, dismantle the smallest cages and free the dogs inside.
People worked through the night and covered the cages with tarpaulins when weather threatened rain. Tents have now been erected over the cages and the dogs have been separated and moved to larger and more comfortable individual kennels.
Volunteer Chelsea Jones told GoKunming many of the dogs were sick, starving and dehydrated. Some, Jones said, were suffering from broken legs and puncture wounds caused by their cramped cages. Other dogs reportedly have distemper and several dozen dogs have died.
An organizer at the shelter, speaking to China Daily, said healthy dogs would be adopted by new owners. No reports have disclosed plans for the sick or wounded animals, although volunteers from the Agricultural Institute were on hand to provide care for those animals in the worst shape.
To learn more about volunteering time, supplies or money, contact shelter organizer Ouyang Jin'gang (欧阳劲刚) at 18213980036.
Top image: jxgdw.com
Bottom image: Chelsea Jones