Golden retriever, poodle and chihuahua saved from China meat trade by UK charity

A UK-based animal rescue centre has rescued three dogs that had been destined for the "meat trade" in China.

The Barn Animal Rescue in Newtownards, Northern Ireland, collected Golden Retriever, poodle and chihuahua dogs after they travelled on a 14 hour flight.

Volunteers from the animal rescue travelled to Paris to pick up the pooches and it is now hoped that they will be re-homed in Northern Ireland.

Manager of the charity, Glenn Ford, made the journey with Gabby Gardiner from Little China Dog Rescue, whose mission is to rescue dogs "from the most horrific of scenarios including slaughterhouses, meat trucks and medical testing facilities".

The three dogs who are now enjoying their new lives in Northern Ireland, are Autumn, a Golden Retriever; Tanya, a Poodle-Cross and Ellie the Chihuahua.

Glenn and Gabby picked up a "dog bus" from a charity in England to complete the journey to Paris.

Glenn told Belfast Live : "These are dogs we picked out last October when we were across in China with Little China Dog Rescue. They are based here but work with activists over there who rescue dogs from meat trucks.

"The dogs were at a shelter and stopped from going to a meat farm, there are over 3,000 dogs there. We went over last October to a place called Bohee with a plan of picking them up.

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"A lady brings them in and feeds them the best she can and then we go out and pick out dogs we think we could rehome. At that time we picked ten for the barn and brought five with us when we flew back. The dogs this week, were three that were due to come across but it took until now due to Covid-19.

"Gabby was able to get the flights secured for them. They flew from China to Paris and then us two went across on the boat to Liverpool and then drove to Dover where we got the channel tunnel to Calais and then drove to Paris. It took around 24 hours to get there. Flight volunteers came in with the dogs and we loaded them into the van."

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Glenn said the dogs were nervous when they arrived as they had been in the air for 14 hours. The three dogs then settled in quite well when they got back, although two aren't in full health.

Ellie, the poodle-cross suffered a fractured skull in China and has no teeth.

Tanya has a bad eye and had a huge burn on her back right down to her muscle when Glenn seen her in China last year, but has been worked on by a vet since.

Autumn is a young dog who was lucky enough to be taken out just in time.

The dogs are now receiving vet checks and are getting back to their full health before they are made available for rehoming.

These rescues are made available through donations that are made to the charity.

Glenn added: "We are 100 percent voluntary, none of us get paid. Every penny that comes to us goes straight back into the animals. We are a local rescue fundamentally, but the China dogs is what we want to do too.

"Every penny goes to our own local dogs and then fundraise for the China dogs aswell. It is important that anything bought through our shops in Newtownards and Ballywalter, will help the shelter here.

"It's great knowing we have saved these dogs. We set the barn up five years ago, and locally we are a rehoming service for those who can't look after their dog anymore but to bring dogs in from another country who were potentially going to be killed for meat, it is a big part of what we are.

"That's what it is all about, looking after animals. It's what we are here for."

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