Six of the dogs we rescued from Yulin 2021 last week were wearing collars. Cain was not. We have no idea where he came from but from the deep sadness in his eyes, it was clear he has been suffering for a long time. In our poignant report from the slaughterhouse, Mr Zhao told us how painful it was to choose who to save. The butchers we so arrogant and uncaring, and they did not care. This was a backyard set up behind the Yulin dog meat markets. Outside they had a stall promoting dog meat, it was one of the few remaining places now still killing dogs just a few meters away from the stall.
The dogs were kept in a bare holding pen with no light, food or water and they were being dragged out one by one, killed and immediately blowtorched, the dead beside the barely living. Most were lethargic and weak, but a few made eye contact, and our volunteers took the heartbreaking decision of choosing the ones they thought would make the long journey back to Beijing. We would eventually discover they all have multiple infectious, life-threatening diseases.
Black, short-haired, medium-sized dogs are tough to rehome, but there was something about Cain and his cage-mate that pleaded ‘take me’.
Our small team told the butcher they would take 20 and then went back out to buy cages they could transport them in. When they returned, they were horrified to see the butchers blowtorching the fur off one of the dogs we had chosen to save. Cain had not been with them. He was still at the back of the holding pen. A decision was then taken that he must come too. And so our Yulin 20 became 21.
He was so quiet the two days it took us to get to Beijing and did not cry out despite his body being full of open sores.
It has been devastating to learn that over half the dogs have distemper – coronavirus variant – dog flu and parvovirus. The others have terrible stomach infections, skin disease and kennel cough. We have had to divide the dogs into four clinics as the vets are reluctant to take in sick dogs from the notorious Yulin dog meat market.
Cain has been on an intravenous drip for the last six nights. He is fighting for his life. Mr Zhao tells us his spirit is burning bright. He sees a genuine will to live in him, and we have committed to continue giving him and the other survivors the best care and chance at life we can afford.
Our veterinary bills for these dogs are now close to £11,000. Would you please help us if you can?