Help the forgotten dogs of the Chinese Meat Trade : A visit to Ya’an Shelter, Sichuan, China

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We all want to rescue the dogs from the Chinese Meat Trade, but where do they end up after being rescued off the lorries? They end up in crowded shelters like Auntie’s in Ya’an, with little hope of finding a home in China. The rescue of the dogs by activists such as Plush Bear and caring members of the Chinese public is only the first step.

The shelters come next. This is where it stops for most dogs – no new home, no new life, overcrowding, poor nutritional food, risk of distemper, and risk of attack from other dogs. But at least a level of safety from the cruel hand of man.

Help us help the forgotten ones of the Chinese Meat Trade. See and read the reality of Zoe’s recent visit to Ya’an, China.


It’s June 2019, and Zoe is visiting Auntie Yan’s dog shelter in Ya’an, Sichuan, China. The shelter is on the outskirts of the town, up a long, winding and muddy road. On opening the door, you receive a welcome from over 3000 dogs – each one yearning and overwhelming your attention with waggy tails and barking voices.

We find many breeds, including Samoyed, Collie, Golden Retriever, Poodle, Husky, Malamute and Bulldogs. They’ve been rescued from butchers, meat markets and the streets. They’ve come from an existence of being beaten, strangled and tortured. For some, this is the first place they’ve known that’s safe from the violence of man. Each one is grateful to be alive, but they deserve more than that.

There’s a big group of Collies that remind us of another group we rescued alongside All Dogs Matter in April 2019. It’s heartbreaking to see how quickly the shelter fills up. We want this new group of Collies to have the same happy ending of a new loving home.

We hold and stroke so many dogs that we lose count – each one with different needs but all needing love. We see Auntie Yan is doing good work with limited resources and absolutely no government support. Food is scarce, but she does her best distributing it. Auntie should receive praise for providing the dogs’ care. We want to be there for her, so she doesn’t give up on the work she’s doing.

So that’s what we’ll do. But we can’t do it alone. Our experience in China always breaks our heart, but it never stops us going back to help more dogs. With time we hope China will change for the better for our beautiful dogs, but for now, we will keep fighting.


So how can we help Auntie?

The biggest priority is food. Most dogs are eating rice, so we want to pay for a dog kibble machine and the ongoing ingredients. (❤️ UPDATE: kibble machine installed October 2019 and up and running January 2020 ❤️).

To get the dogs out of the shelter, we firstly need donations from the general public (our wonderful supporters!) to help fund vet bills, dog food, boarding and fly the dogs to the UK. All the dogs we rescue from the shelter get treated by a veterinarian in China and then sent to boarding kennels. Please become a Rushton supporter!

Secondly, we need more specialist dog breed charities like Tri-State Bassett Hound Rescue to work with us to take even more dogs to the UK and USA. Please get in touch if you’re a specialist dog breed charity that can help.

For daily rescue updates, please follow Rushton Dog Rescue on Facebook.

From Darkness to Light, We will find you and bring you home.