Minnesota group says it rescues dogs from Chinese meat trade
MINNETONKA, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota dog rescue organization says it’s saving the lives of golden retrievers by flying them to the U.S. from China, where they’re used in the dog meat trade.
Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest said its volunteers in China take in dogs that have been rescued from butchers and slaughterhouses, KARE-TV reported. The Minnetonka-based group’s Chinese shelters can house hundreds of rescued dogs at a time, officials said.
Humane Society International estimates that 10 million dogs are consumed each year in China.
Nicole Stundzia, a board member for the rescue group, recently traveled to the country to see the rescue efforts firsthand and to bring some of the dogs to the U.S. herself. Stundzia said the Chinese shelters are often overcrowded.
“It was a hundred dogs at least, and they were just all starving for human attention,” Stundzia said. “Jumping on gates, they wanted you to pet them.”
She said one of the dogs, named Mama, caught her attention. Stundzia said it was difficult to walk away, but she was already limited in the number of dogs she was slated to travel with due to airline restrictions.
“There was something in her eyes,” she said. “It was just so sad, so I took her picture.”
Stundzia said she reached out to the group’s volunteers, and a family offered to bring Mama and four other dogs to the U.S.
Stundzia said knowing that dogs such as Mama are being cared for in loving foster and adoptive homes makes her job worthwhile.
“It’s rewarding, part of being the pre-adoption team, it’s so, so fun to see these families so excited to adopt dogs that I had a part in bringing back over,” she said.
Information from: KARE-TV, http://www.kare11.com