An adorable Labrador called Stella who was saved from Chinese flood waters by animal activists is looking for a new home in the UK, USA or Europe.
The NoToDogMeat charity recently reopened its European rehoming programme, after pandemic restrictions were lifted.
But the charity now faces a gargantuan challenge to save dogs like Stella, after devastating floods hit the Hebei province, which is where NoToDogMeat’s largest shelter is based.
Stella was rescued by the charity’s shelter manager Qin Xi Zhao, who spotted the struggling pooch floating in the water in the darkness.
And though she is now safe, international support is needed to ensure that Stella, and hundreds of other dogs, can travel to their happy lives and new homes.
Mr Zhao said: “The flooding has been heartbreaking and is a disaster, but moments like saving Stella have kept us all going.
“I just saw a shape in the riverbed, as we were travelling back from rescuing other dogs, and when I went to look we realised it was a Labrador. She was very nervous but clearly relieved to be taken to safety, after being stuck in the rain and the mud for so long.
“At the moment we are sleeping in the van with very little resources as we try to keep the animals safe at the shelter. We can’t believe this disaster and are all in shock, but we need to keep going.”
In footage released by NoToDogMeat this week, Mr Zhao can be seen comforting the frightened white pup, as other dogs bark in the background.
In another video, which was taken following a rescue in the badly affected ZhuZhou area of the province, the traumatised dog can be seen wandering around in a daze as rescuers plan what to do in the darkness and mud.
Stella has now been seen by a vet, who estimates that the lucky dog is around four years old, and has given her a clean bill of health.
And the charity is planning on fast-tracking more dogs to Europe, as conditions at the shelter are crowded, and people in the province do not want to adopt dogs during the crisis.
London lawyer Julia de Cadenet, who founded the NoToDogMeat charity in 2009, said: “What is going on in Hebei is heartbreaking, and we call on our European supporters to stand with us, either by registering their interest in adopting a dog, or by making a small donation.
“This has been a disaster for the charity, but our brave shelter manager and animal loving volunteers have worked tirelessly to keep our dogs safe.
“These are dogs who have been rescued from the meat trade, so they have already had a life’s worth of trauma to endure, we are so upset that they have now been forced to endure a natural disaster too.”
To donate to NoToDogMeat’s flood appeal go to https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/Emergency-Flood-China-Shelter
To find out more about adoption go to www.notodogmeat.com