As horrifying as it seems, most of the dogs used for meat are strays, stolen pets, and runaways. One such unfortunate dog’s life turned around when kind rescuers took her in.
A compound in Harbin, China, has around 2,000 rescued dogs running and playing—enjoying their new lease of life. The owner often asks the Harbin Slaughterhouse Survivors Animal Rescue (Harbin SHS) to help with the more serious cases, reported The Dodo.
One particular dog caught the attention of the SHS rescuers on their visit in 2018.
Harriet, as she was named, was in a very bad state. The pup’s fur was a tangled mess full of feces, her frame was malnourished, and her spirit broken.
“We were visiting the property in May, and in the far back corner, I see this tiny little husky looking completely scared,” Rachel Hinman, a U.S. volunteer for Harbin SHS, told The Dodo.
“I tried reaching out, and she just sat there. We had no idea where she came from, but she was not doing well.”
But Harriet’s instinct must have kicked in as she began to relax when rescuers picked her up and carried her away to safety.
The rescuers thought Harriet was a young puppy due to her size. But after the vet examined her teeth, it was estimated she was probably an 8-month-old dog.
“She just must’ve been so malnourished that it affected her growth,” Hinman added.
After the vet gave Harriet a clean bill of health, the rescue team began her grooming process.
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“She was so quiet and docile,” Hinman said. “It took us a long time to shave off all her fur, but she sat there so patiently and never barked or growled. That really touched me.”
Hinman added, “[Harriet] had been through so much, and like many other dogs Harbin SHS rescues, was naturally sweet, playful and kind.”
Two months later, Harriet was a transformed dog. And when Rosee Vallee from Canada saw the cute pup’s photo online, she was transfixed.
Harriet made the plane trip to San Franscisco with a volunteer, where her forever loving owner was waiting to take her home.
“I knew she was for me the second I saw her; she looked so sad and all I wanted to do was make her happy right away,” Vallee told The Dodo. “Since I have had her, we have went on road trips, we have flown together, she went to Lake Louise [in Canada] … She is my princess. She loves everyone she meets.”
At her home in Canada, Harriet has the company of three other dog sisters, one of whom shares the same origins as Harriet—Harbin SHS.
Harriet has now been renamed Bailey by her loving and kind family.
And the kind woman who helped rescue her in Harbin feels a sense of achievement as another dog is saved from a terrible fate.
“I see her now and it just warms my heart,” Hinman said.
“I think of all the people who came together to help her—they are the real heroes of this story. Every dog deserves a second chance, and Harriet is such a perfect example of that.”
Humane Society International (HSI) estimates about 10 million dogs and 4 million cats are killed for the purpose of food every year in China.
Though only 20 percent of the population eats dog meat, the business continues to run.
“In China’s rural areas, dog owners allow their dogs to roam in the neighborhood,” Peter J. Li, Ph.D., China policy specialist for HSI, told The Dodo.
“These dogs have become the target of the dog thieves who use poison, sharp steel string and other brutal ways to steal them.”
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Thankfully, there are still such kind souls who don’t hesitate doing their utmost to serve others.