Our founder Du Yufeng and our team are now in Nanning treating the sick animals rescued and then will take them home.
The violence this year has been the worst that Du has experienced. The taunting and harrassment can be accepted but the physical and very violent death threats and abuse can not. Grown men hit, pushed and threw things at Du. Our 22 year old volunteer Yang Dong was chased down the road by a butcher waving a machete. Yang was called a coward by some who commented on our photos. We would rather him run away than end up in hospital with serious injuries...or worse!
Du did save some animals but this wasn't the happy ending we hoped for either. Having made an agreement with a dog dealer, the dogs had been taken out of the filthy, rusty cages. Leashes were placed around the dogs' necks so that Du could walk them away from the scene. When Du handed over the money* to the dealer, a crowd of dog meat thugs quickly surrounded her and the rest of the team. Du and the others tried to find a way to push through the crowd, but these disgusting men would not let them leave. Things happened so quickly that no one could stop it. A commotion started and some of the men roughly grabbed hold of the dogs and pushed through the crowd, running off. With 4 of our dogs. The crowd cheered and let them through then packed in tighter so that none of our team could run after the thieves. We had managed to save some dogs from the most horrific death and then 4 of them were gone. Back to the hellhole they had just been saved from.
Du is absolutely devastated beyond belief.
Every year that she goes to Yulin, the more Du is taunted and harrassed from being recognised. The officials and police have always made a point of watching her wherever she went but this year they never left her alone. Tailing her in plain clothes, police would follow her every move, even going to her hotel room at 3am to question her and look at the photos on her phone.
Some were deleted.
We know that the corruption in the dog meat trade runs deep but Yulin is second to none. Money is the root of all evil. Very true in Yulin where dog dealers, butchers and restaurant owners give payouts to these corrupt officials. The whole festival should not exist if we look at the law but it does exist and is thriving. They know they are safe. They pay good money to have this protection.
The animals we saved will need love and rehabilitation to help them overcome what they have seen and heard. Long term support from your donations will help them until they are adopted- IF they are adopted.... We know from past experience that rescuing is the easy part. If we look at an average of 8 years for a dog's life span, caring for these damaged souls will take a lot of money, especially if they live the rest of their lives in the shelter.
We have not been a part of any other group's rescue. Du and our team worked on their own
Du apologises for letting you all down, for not rescuing more animals but her own and the safety of our team was paramount and she could not risk staying there any longer.
We will update you about the rescued animals tomorrow once we have all rested.
Thank you for your support throughout all of this very difficult time.
If anyone wishes their donations to be refunded, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*We know it is an emotive issue to buy dogs and cats and we know that the money given to the dealers enables them to buy more. We always try to rescue the animals with the help of the law. In other cities, the law would be sufficient to confiscate the animals but as you have learned, Yulin is a lawless city where the killing and consumption of dogs and cats is protected by the very people who could save them.