NoToDogMeat is coming to the aid of the community, after flooding destroyed infrastructure, homes and livelihoods in China’s Hebei Province.
This month flooding swept through the province, after unprecedented rainwater was diverted from Beijing to the rural region.
The scale of the disaster has not yet been fully realised, but it is known that at least 100 people have died in the deluge, which has swept away entire communities.
The NoToDogMeat charity, which rescues animals from the meat trade and events such as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, operates a shelter in Hebei which houses 500 dogs.
Shelter manager Xin Qi Zhao, who lives on site, was forced by authorities to abandon the animals during the height of the flood, but was able to open cage doors to give the dogs a chance of survival.
On returning to the shelter, Mr Zhao and his team used boats to assess the scale of the damage, and also delivered clean drinking water and pet food to other residents in need at a special community event.
Many of the dogs were able to shelter on the roofs of buildings, while others chose to remain in their cages. However, the building has been severely damaged by the water, along with thousands of other homes and public structures.
Mr Zhao, 45, said: “Hebei at the moment is a scene of devastation and we are all in shock. We have never seen a disaster on this scale.
“Every day has been a struggle, but we are working hard to keep the dogs safe, and share resources with our community, which is in crisis.”
Work is being carried out to secure the building for the future of the charity’s operation there, with life rafts being used to help stranded dogs.
To alleviate the pressure on the shelter, NoToDogMeat volunteers in the UK are busy arranging for 20 dogs to travel by Christmas, who will all receive new homes away from the dangerous conditions.
Rehoming fees will also go some way to help rebuild the shattered shelter structure, and help other dogs get their new start.
Mr Zhao added: “Every life to us is precious, this has been heartbreaking and these are dogs that have already been through the worst cruelty of the meat trade. We can’t believe this has happened.
“Transporting 20 dogs to the UK will help free up space at the shelter, and also give us a wonderful feeling that all our hard work wasn’t for nothing.”
The charity, which was founded in London in 2009, is currently looking for homes for the dogs who are set to travel, and is appealing for potential adopters to come forward.
Julia de Cadenet, 50 charity CEO, said: “The worst really has happened in Hebei, and Mr Zhao and the team have shown bravery like you wouldn’t believe.
“We are working really hard to find homes for the dogs that will travel, but also we urgently need funds and support from members of the public, as well as an airline who may potentially be able to help.
“Anyone who would like to rehome one of our dogs please do get in touch.”
In June the charity was celebrating, after pandemic restrictions were lifted and the first two dogs to arrive from China were brought to Paris.
Debbie, who was adopted by Peter and Hayley Finch, is now living a happy life in Wendover, Buckinghamshire.
Speaking about the adoption process, Hayley, 38 said: “We have been amazed by Debbie’s strength and resilience, and the charity has been amazing with support throughout the settling in process
“These dogs are so deserving of a fresh start and make wonderful pets, please do get in touch if you would like to welcome one into your home.”
To find out more about adopting a NoToDogMeat dog go to www.notodogmeat.com
To donate to the charity’s flood appeal go to https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/Emergency-Flood-China-Shelter