Saturday 21st October 2017 was a significant day for me. A day I realised some people love animals – and want to save them – as much as me. There is always a niggling feeling in my tummy, and I am not fully focused even on the best days, as I am always thinking somewhere right now an animal is in need and I can’t save them. Especially with the Dog meat trade which is the worst hell imaginable…BUT Saturday 21st there was hope.
‘Discover Dogs’ at ExCeL in London was a huge event for all things doggy! I entered the venue (after Notodogmeat founder Julia handed me my pass) and straight away I wished I had a spare £500, as there were ‘dog’ purses, birthday cards, books, framed pictures, charity stalls, and that was just for the dog loving humans. For our canine friends there were dozens of collars, new ranges of treats, beds, leads, toys, literally dog heaven….oh and the bonus for us both. LOTS OF DOGS!
The ‘Notodogmeat’ stall was situated in a good spot, quite close to the agility course, and so many people passed us and as expected stopped at our stall. Many were well aware of the dog meat trade and passed on their disgust, dropped in a donation, or bought a raffle ticket, or a T-shirt which was lovely. Some however had to stand for a few seconds and figure out what NTDM stall was all about. One lady said to me “Is this for vegetarian dog food”? When I explained she was stunned. Others were lost for words. One lady burst into tears, which of course always make me go too…but I kept thinking this means more people have had their eyes opened, and hopefully they will pass on what they know so more and more will be aware.
The stars of the show (besides the amazing volunteers Julia, Mary, Niki) were our NTDM survivors Anabel and Gigi. These two beauties gave up their entire day and proved that if we continue to fight against China and the countries that allow this trade to happen some are rescued. The presence of the two dogs certainly made people stop, and many could not believe Anabel was actually real as she does a great mannequin/toy dog impression! They also were surprised how calm and friendly they were after the ordeal they had suffered.
For me one of the highlights of the day was signing up people to sponsor a Chinese dog. One girl asked me which was the dog that wasn’t very popular as she would choose him or her. I had a lump in my throat as that was so heart-warming, and exactly how I would choose.
There was also some interest in bringing a rescue dog over to the UK. Since this process is not as complicated as it once was, it was great to be able to pass over this information and hope that people would go ahead and do it!
I went home that evening emotionally drained from explaining to the unknown about the meat trade horror, but also emotionally tired from meeting so many amazing, likeminded people that truly GET IT. I knew at an event called Discover Dogs there would be kind animal lovers. But I have never met so many that want to make a difference, not just to comment on how awful the situation is but to leave their mobile numbers, and who would join. On my way home on my way home a shop assistant read the words on my NTDM jumper (as did many on the tube, I could feel eyes on me, and whispers) and I briefly explained about the day and she ripped off a paper receipt and she too wrote down her mobile number!
That absolutely topped off Saturday 21st October. I didn’t just go to ‘Discover Dogs’ I discovered humans with BIG hearts.
Buy Calendars for your loved ones this Christmas and help our work!
Our fantastic new Calendar for 2019 is now available so grab yourself a copy before they run out! Packed with beautiful pictures of the rescued dogs and cats at our China shelter it will make a delightful Christmas gift for any dog and cat lover you can even have your gift sent directly.
The calendar is £10 in UK, Eur 17 for EU, everywhere else US$20. All prices include postage/shipping.
Please use one of the Paypal links below to make your purchase.
If you would like to order – all proceeds towards the charity – Thank you and Dog Bless!
2018 Calendar to UK
2018 Calendar to US
2018 Calendar to Europe
Our next main event is at Discover Dogs Excel London 21st/22nd October.
We have a stand and need motivated volunteers to come down and lend a hand.
If you can give a few hours of your time you get a free entry pass to visit the main arena and the show.
Our first ever fun dog show was held in Marylebone on Sunday 10th September. It was a great opportunity for Londoners to come and meet our team and our rescues and have some fun.
It’s really important for us as a charity to meet new friends and volunteers. So many people still don’t know about the dog meat trade, and for those that do, they can find out more about the progress we have made.
We also raised £800 which will help towards bringing more lucky dogs over from China.
Our incredible poodles, labradoodles and samoyeds are all vaccinated with successful blood test and ready to fly to forever homes.
Our amazing Mr Zhao who cares for them just built a socialisation area allowing the shelter dogs to play on grass.
We want our all our dogs to have the best chance possible of finding a loving home. It is still an enormous strain to feed them every month. We need 3600 kilos of dry food for our dogs and cats every month which costs around $4,000.
This year our team went to Crufts with our wonderful campaign dog Apache. Although we do not believe at all in buying dogs or cats it was a great opportunity to see some of the amazing suppliers of ethical products.
We now run a partner shelter South of Beijing which is currently home to – at the last count – around 400 dogs and 36 cats and it is a huge task just to feed the dogs each month.
Our plan is to build a medical faciltiy on-site for Mr Zhao set up and runs the shelter. We already have the 150 square metre structure so now we have a ‘wish list’ of items that we need to purchase or have donated to us.
We are looking for letter writers who can help us obtain some of these items from their vets or local pet stores. One action you can take is to nominate us for a light therapy machine.
We still hope to meet with the Kennel Club on the global issue of dog breeding and puppy farms.
Coincidentally this month just recently nearly a dozen standard poodles were rescued by Mr Zhao complete with their pedigree certificate. They were no longer of use and being sold from the farms to the slaughterhouse. Just look how adorable they are.
We really need your help to cover their care and find them homes please donate urgently or get in touch to adopt.
Click here: http://www.notodogmeat.com/Adopt.php
We know many of you are waiting for updates from Yulin so we want to share with you the information we have from our volunteers and sources on the ground. This year the torture fest has been much, much quieter than any other year. Campaigning has certainly helped but the real progress has come from the amazing Chinese activists.
We spent most of May in China with Mr Zhao who is an absolute hero. He explained how organisations had agreed to boycott buying dogs at Yulin and would all focus their efforts on stopping trucks. We prayed they would be successful. We were horrified to visit villages where they regularly steal dogs and send them up to Dongbei in the north where there are large slaughterhouses.
You may not know but most Chinese activists are just regular people who work in a day job volunteering when they can to make a difference. This year they did. They have stopped numerous trucks and completely disrupted the business of dogs going into Yulin. So much so that just as our photos show there were hardly any sellers at Yulin market.
This however is where the hard work starts.
Rescue is only ever the beginning of a long and often heart-breaking journey.
We run a partner shelter south of Beijing with over 400 dogs and 36 cats looking for love and a home. It’s hard work just feeding them and every month is a trial for Mr Zhao.
Yet right now he and our small team have gone to help the big rescue of 19 June at Guangzhou where over 1300 dogs were stopped from being eaten.
The problem everyone is facing is the villagers have objected to the dogs. Many have died and the police have refused for them to be taken away.
The temporary camp has had to move twice and as you can imagine moving hundreds of sick traumatised dogs is not easy.
We also desperately need to buy some specific medication that is not sold in the province. One box alone costs 125 RMB. (£15) and we are bringing it in from Beijing. We also need more dehydration fluids and medically trained professionals. Although the volunteers have brought supplies and donated from their own money we need finance to pay local vets to attend. They are terrified of infection and there is the risk of distemper.
Can you help? Do you have any contacts who can send us supplies or come and help? Can you donate so Mr Zhao can help contribute to the collective needs? Our plan when we can is to bring as many dogs as we can who are well enough to travel back to our shelter and give them refuge until they too can be rehomed.
NoToDogMeat has a large social media following and we are known for our work throughout Asa but financially we are only small. This is why we need your help. Please consider a regular donation however small and thank you so much to everyone who has supported us to date. We will share live feeds next week so you can see how funds are spent.
If you can open your heart to help Mr Zhao’s dogs
Please donate via our Total Giving Yulin Dog Meat Festival Appeal
Or direct to Mr Zhao’s bank:
ZHAO (family name)
XIN QI (first name)
CHINA AGRICULTURAL BANK DAXING
SWIFT CODE ABOCCNBJ010
ACCOUNT NO 622840018610404073
YUFA TOWN BEIJING
Bless Your Hearts for Caring
Julia de Cadenet