They have put their past behind them and both love their new jobs helping students and care home residents cope with stress, anxiety and loneliness.It comes as the infamous Yulin dog meat festival in China’s Guangxi Autonomous begins next Tuesday. Meanwhile South Korea’s hottest days of summer in July and August traditionally see a rise in dog meat dishes being eaten. Rosie was one of 135 dogs saved by Humane Society International’s (HSI) Chinese partner group from a dog slaughterhouse in Yulin in 2018. She and four others saved that day were flown to the UK to find loving homes, and Rosie fell on her paws when she was adopted by Kirsten McLintock. Her new owner has since registered her as a pet therapy dog working at Bedales School in Hampshire, whose alumni include Minnie Driver, Cara Delevingne and Daniel Day Lewis.
In China, the majority of dogs slaughtered for meat are stolen pets or strays grabbed off the streets.The best chance that Chinese activists have of rescuing them is if they intercept a truck of dogs on the highway.
They can then alert the police, who can confiscate the dogs if the diver can’t produce the legally required health certificates and quarantine papers needed to transport live animals across provincial borders.
Because the dogs are stolen, they typically don’t have these papers, but saving them becomes more tricky once they reach the slaughterhouse.
But because these facilities are essentially illegal and the dogs are stolen, it is still possible to persuade operators to give up the dogs so police don’t get involved.Rosie was most likely stolen from her original home in China and trafficked hundreds of miles, crammed in a tiny cage on the back of a truck.
She was then dumped in a filthy slaughterhouse where she was due to be bludgeoned to death and bled out for dog meat dishes.
Her role as a stress and anxiety reducer has been incredibly powerful post Covid-19 lockdown, which impacted the mental wellbeing of many students.
Rosie is spoiled by the support staff, students and visitors alike, happily roams around the school site greeting everyone, chasing squirrels and living her best life.
Kirsten McLintock says: ‘Rosie’s temperament is incredibly soft, gentle, and loving. She is adored by the students who are familiar with the calming presence she brings to their weekly wellbeing lessons.
Apply house rules consistently. When your pet knows what to expect from his behavior, he will be much more inclined to do more of what you approve of and less of what you don’t.
‘It’s clear that she must have been someone’s stolen pet, as from her first arrival she was house trained and used to having a collar and walking on the lead.’Kirsten says Rosie’s latest discovery is the beach and does a ‘happy dance and bottom wiggle’ when she reaches the sand. Henry the golden retriever was rescued by HSI in 2017 from a dog meat farm in South Korea.There he would most likely have been killed by electrocution during the summer months, when dog meat soup is often favoured during the hottest days, known as Bok Nal. South Korea is the only country in Asia to intensively breed dogs for human consumption, with thousands of farms spread across the country. Since 2015, HSI/Korea has been working with dog farmers who want to leave the increasingly controversial industry.
Activists have been helping them close their farms, providing them with a one-off grant so they can transition into a more humane and profitable trade like growing chilli plants or water parsley.
They sign a legally binding 20-year contract with us never to farm dogs or any animals again, and we rescue all the dogs and have the caging dismantled.HSI has shut down 17 farms as part its Models For Change program, which hopes to show the South Korean government the dog meat industry can be phased out without conflict with farmers.
Henry now lives in Brighton with HSI/UK executive director Claire Bass and family, and is registered with Canine Concern, for whom he regularly visits a local residential care home in Hove.
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Henry’s calm and gentle manner makes for the perfect companion for the elderly residents.Claire said: ‘There’s clearly pleasure in the physical connection with his beautiful soft fur, but for many residents there’s a big emotional impact too.
‘Spending time with him often brings back a flood of happy memories of special animals they’ve had in their lives, and it’s lovely to help them revisit those bonds
‘It’s completely humbling to know where he started out in life, and to see him now gently bring so much joy to people.’
Claire added: ‘These dogs have been to hell and back, surviving China’s terrifying meat trade or South Korea’s miserable factory farms, but despite their ordeal, their resilience and forgiving nature shines through.‘Contrary to the assumptions by many in the West, most people in China and South Korea don’t eat dogs and in fact most are rightly horrified at the thought of this trade.’Opinion polls show that 72% of citizens in Yulin don’t regularly eat dog, despite efforts by meat traders to promote it.
Nationwide, there is significant Chinese opposition to the dog meat trade as concern for animal welfare grows.In 2020, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs made an official statement that dogs are companion animals and not ‘livestock’ for eating.
That same year, two major cities in mainland China – Shenzhen and Zhuhai – banned the consumption of dog and cat meat, a decision polling showed was supported by nearly 75% of Chinese citizens. Opinion polls show that 84% of Koreans neither consume dog meat nor intend to in the future, even if they have done so in the past.
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Of those Koreans who do eat dog meat, the majority (70%) consume it over Bok Nal.Newly elected President Yoon Suk-yeol has stated he would not oppose a dog meat ban provided there is social consensus. Dog meat is banned in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, as well as in the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai in mainland China. It is also banned in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province and in 17 cities and regencies in Indonesia.
However, an estimated 30 million dogs a year are still killed for meat in other parts of Asia.
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