Dogs saved from slaughter in China find forever homes in Montreal

Montreal SPCA and Humane Society International/Canada grateful for public support for 32 pups rescued from dog meat festival

Montreal, January 11th, 2017 – After being rescued from certain death by Humane Society International at a dog meat festival in Yulin, China, 26 of the 32 dogs transported to Quebec have already been adopted thanks to the Montreal SPCA, who sheltered and cared for them upon their arrival. The remaining dogs are receiving extra care in specialized rescue groups and foster homes.

The dogs were part of a larger group of 110 dogs who were transported from Beijing to Toronto on December 22nd, where rescue workers greeted them at a temporary shelter in Cambridge, Ontario. Of the 110, 68 dogs went to Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary in King City north of Toronto; 10 dogs went to BARK rescue in Ottawa, and the remainder were driven to the Montreal SPCA.

“The Montreal SPCA is pleased to have assisted Humane Society International/Canada with this important rescue. We are relieved that most of the dogs have already been placed into loving families, where they are getting the chance to live happy and healthy lives,” said Me Alanna Devine, director of animal advocacy of the Montreal SPCA. “We are also glad that this rescue sparked a very important discussion on social media about the way in which farm animals, such as pigs, cows and chickens – who experience a wide spectrum of emotions including the capacity to feel pain and to suffer, no different than dogs and cats – are raised and slaughtered for food here in Canada. The recent amendment to our Civil Code is clear in recognizing the sentience of all animals, cows and pigs as much as dogs and cats, and the public seems to be very aware of the fact that all animals, regardless of species, should not be subject to suffering.”

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director for HSI/Canada, added: “We are thrilled to see so many Montrealers open their hearts and homes to these very deserving dogs. When HSI found them, the dogs were crammed into cages so tightly they couldn’t move and many were gasping for breath. They had open wounds and skin infections and it was clear they had gone without food for several days. Now, these rescued dogs are finding happiness in forever homes in Canada, and will become ambassadors for our global fight to end the dog meat trade.”

The Yulin dog meat festival, initiated in 2010 to boost dog meat sales, results in thousands of dogs and cats slaughtered and eaten annually. International and national protest against the festival has reduced the scale of the event by 80 percent in recent years.

Polling (Horizon, 2016) reveals that, of those holding an opinion, 78 percent of people in China believe the Yulin festival should be ended and 73 percent support a national ban on the dog meat trade.


  • An estimated 30 million dogs are brutally killed each year, primarily in Asia, for the global dog meat trade. Up to 20 million of those dogs are slaughtered in China.
  • The government of China is working with local partners in some regions to enforce existing animal protection laws to curtail the trade. HSI has provided training and funding to local organizations for rescuing dogs including those bound for the slaughter and has helped set up a command center for coordinating these rescue efforts.
  • HSI is also waging campaigns in South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and other Asian nations to stop the dog meat trade.


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The Montreal SPCA, founded in 1869, was the first animal welfare society in Canada. Their mission is to: protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation; represent their interests and ensure their well-being, and raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings. For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation, farm animal welfare and animals in research. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International, which, together with its partners, constitutes one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at www.hsicanada.ca

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