FLOODING UPDATE: Heroic shelter workers head back to flooded Hebei base to try and secure the safety of hundreds of NoToDogMeat rescue dogs

NoToDogMeat’s shelters in Hebei and Bejing are still battling against the elements as flooding and storms threaten the lives of hundreds of rescue dogs.

Amid darkness and chaos, shelter workers in Hebei led by manager Qin Xi Zhao are fighting to keep hope alive.

Shelter staff are back on site, battling through perilous conditions and without power to try and keep dogs safe – to use this image email hayley@animalnewsagency.com – copyright NoToDogMeat

With zero power and cut off from the outside world, the last 48 hours have been a relentless battle.

The authorities initially forced Mr Zhao and his team to evacuate, leaving 500 rescued dogs vulnerable and scared.

But now Mr Zhao and three courageous volunteers have returned to the site, armed only with flashlights and unwavering determination to ensure the safety of the charity’s precious rescue dogs.

Dogs perch on rafts as the flood waters lap around them – to use this image email hayley@animalnewsagency.com – copyright NoToDogMeat

Mr Zhao said: “We evacuated the sick and disabled dogs, providing them with the needed care. However, the others remain trapped as we have not been allowed to move them and even if we could roads are muddy and blocked.

“Our food is ruined so we urgently need to buy some and get it delivered. We have 500 hungry mouths.

“Thanks to the incredible efforts of a volunteer with a 4×4, we now have a temporary refuge and a way to get around. Everyone can find solace in the car, charging their phones and finding respite from the darkness and rain.”

Surveying the extent of the huge flood which has struck Hebei province – to use this image email hayley@animalnewsagency.com – copyright NoToDogMeat

Julia de Cadenet, who founded the NoToDogMeat charity in 2009 has been coordinating the fundraising efforts around the clock, since news of severe flooding at the shelter arrived.

She said: “Despite the dire circumstances, Mr Zhao refuses to abandon those left behind. Together, the team stands strong, taking turns to stay awake checking on the dogs, liaising with authorities and giving us news when they can.

“So far, we have bought lifeboats, makeshift rafts the dogs can float on, headlamps, and a generator to pump water.

Food has been ruined at the Hebei base – to use this image email hayley@animalnewsagency.com – copyright NoToDogMeat

“The following 24 hours will be crucial as we are still determining if the river banks will break. We have opened all the cage locks for the dogs so they can get out if needed. Many of them huddle in the area of the base least hit. We know our structure is in jeopardy, the wooden beams could collapse anytime.”

However, despite the precarious position the charity is in, it is so far luckier than other animal shelters in the region, who have reported the tragic loss of hundreds of rescued dogs.

Keeping dogs safe has become a huge effort for animal activists across Hebei and Beijing – to use this image email hayley@animalnewsagency.com – copyright NoToDogMeat

At NoToDogMeat’s smaller Beijing base, shelter manger Anna Gan continues to offer help to other groups, who have been badly affected in the west of the city.

She is heroically taking in dogs and cats, helping with transport and supplies.

Anna said: “Everyone is united to do what they can. We are all so proud of our friends and animal lovers and stand with them.”

To donate to rescue and rebuilding efforts go to https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/Emergency-Flood-China-Shelter

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