A Chinese animal-loving blogger who goes by the surname Peng recently helped intercept 1,137 dogs cramped in cages on a flatbed truck on their way to a slaughterhouse to be made into food.
Peng posted an alert online "after spotting the truck on a highway."
"The dogs were found to be in poor health and deplorable conditions — with some of the unlucky ones already dead in their cages," NY Daily News reported. Thirty of the poorest pups were rushed to a veterinary hospital in Chongqing immediately following the rescue.
Peng, a volunteer at the Chongqing Small Animal Protection Association, estimates that about 20 per cent of the dogs will be adopted by locals, especially the more desirable chow and husky breeds.
A generous donor offered a 1000-square-foot warehouse to house the pups as volunteer activists decide what the next rescue steps will be. Another building will soon be rented in order to put the sickest of of the dogs under quarantine "to ensure most dogs can survive."
"Now we urgently need more professional volunteers to come and take care of the dogs as many people are going home as the Chinese New Year is approaching," Peng told China Daily.
Dog meat is considered a delicacy in some Asian countries — despite proposals to ban its consumption — and is even considered to contain medicinal properties in Guadong province, where the truck of dogs was headed.
Because of a lack of regulation on the slaughter of dogs, "dealers will not be punished when they ship dead or sick animals for dinner tables," a lawyer who focuses on animal-protection told the newspaper.