Dog lovers rescue 20 golden retrievers from slaughter in China meat trade

Moment 20 golden retrievers destined to be slaughtered for meat in China are saved
Golden Rescue South Florida were behind the rescue operation (Picture: Golden Rescue South Florida/
This is the moment 20 golden retrievers destined to be slaughtered for their meat in China were saved by an animal rescue group. The dogs were photographed as they met their new adoptive owners in Miami, Florida, on Sunday – with some rescuers moved to tears by their first meeting. Their rescue was made possible thanks to Golden Rescue South Florida, who spent six months planning and fundraising $50,000 for the complex mission. And their efforts paid off with the goldens saved from being eaten after flying 7,800 miles from Beijing to start a new life in America.
The dogs’ plight so moved Miami animal lovers that they were all adopted before they’d even made it onto US soil. Rescue co-ordinator, Kristine Minerva, 40, said that without rescue the dogs are likely to have ended up in a slaughterhouse.
Dog rescue
All 20 dogs were flown to Miami, Florida from Beijing, China (Picture: Golden Rescue South Florida/
Golden Rescue South Florida from China
The dogs were welcomed home by their new owners on Sunday (Picture: Golden Rescue South Florida/

She said: ‘It’s estimated alone that about 10 million dogs are slaughtered for the dog meat trade each year. Just seeing an animal in such horrible conditions is heart-breaking. Once rescued and they knowing they are safe is one of the most heart warming and selfless feeling ever.

Many dogs have a condition nicknamed “Frito Feet,” in which their feet smell little bit like corn chips. As Matt Soniak wrote in a Big Question on this site, this has to do with the kind of bacteria found on a pup’s feet, and “could be due to yeast or Proteus bacteria. Both are known for their sweet, corn tortilla–like smell. Or it could be Pseudomonas bacteria, which smell a little fruitier—but pretty close to popcorn to most noses.”

‘Rescuing, Fostering and saving an animals life has always been my passion. Dogs can’t talk, we are their voice.

‘Dogs feel emotions, you can see it in their face, they are so unbelievably loyal and I cannot imagine torturing, beating, starving a living soul.

‘Once we were able see them in their cages in was an incredible moment and there were lots of emotions, everyone just just unraveled.

Golden Rescue South Florida from China
The dogs were shipped to the US in cages (Picture: Golden Rescue South Florida/
Golden Rescue South Florida from China
Kristine Minerva, pictured, led the operation (Picture: Golden Rescue South Florida/

‘The first dog that I took out of the crate I looked him in the eyes and said “you will never have to worry about being eaten again”.

‘I gave him such a squeeze, it was an amazing moment.’

Kristine is the brains behind the idea to rescue the dogs and was inspired to do so after reading about their plight online, and subsequently being contacted by a rescue group in Beijing asking for help.

As the wheels were put into motion a team of 17 volunteers were involved in the operation, which saw prospective new owners interviewed and vetted before the dogs were matched to new homes.

Kristine said the group’s efforts were supported by a Taiwan animal cruelty group and American animal rights group, Peta.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Having a dog in the house means more bacteria enters the home and gets inside the occupants (one study found “dog-related biodiversity” is especially high on pillowcases.) In turn, people with dogs seem to get ill less frequently and less severely than people with no pets.

‘One person was involved with planning this mission. I had minimal help along the way’, said Christine
Golden Rescue South Florida from China
It took six months to organize the rescue operation (Picture: Golden Rescue South Florida/

‘The dogs were being kept with hundreds of other golden retrievers when I found out about them.

‘Fewer and fewer golden retrievers need to be rescued here in the States, so I figured I’d push the envelope and see about saving goldens from their horrible fate in China.

‘All adoptive homes were found before they arrived. They were already so loved by so many families.’

The pedigree breed is one of the most sought-after by dog lovers, with golden retrievers regularly topping polls of most popular dog breeds.

All of the dogs were transported in cages by China Air and despite her important involvement in the operation, Kristine said she did not adopt any of the dogs herself.

Golden Rescue South Florida are actively engaged in rescuing dogs in dangerous situations around the world and are already planning for their next rescue mission.

To find out more or to get involved visit Golden Rescue South Florida’s Facebook page, here.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Do you have a dog that experiences separation anxiety? Try leaving some clothing with him that you’ve worn. It’s been proven that the scent you leave behind on your clothes can help ease your dog’s separation anxiety.

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