Rescue center rescues hundreds of dogs from barbaric meat trade in China

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A dog rescue center in Lincolnshire is responsible for rescuing hundreds of dogs from the barbaric conditions of the meat trade in China – where the animals are often beaten, boiled alive or skinned alive.

Candy’s Hound Rescue International – formerly Candy Cane Rescue – based in Brookenby near Binbrook has repatriated more than 500 dogs from China since its inception in 2017.

Kerry Lawrence founded the charity and organizes every aspect of a dog’s journey into their new life – from physically rescuing the dogs in China, to flying them back to the UK and elsewhere, to their final homes with the loving owners they deserve .

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As the cost of transporting the dogs can be around £2,500, the charity relies heavily on donations from the public.

Kerry told Grimsby Live: “I have been working with Greyhound Rescue for 16 years now and ten years ago I founded Greyhound Protection UK, a rescue organization which is anti-racing but also rescues running greyhounds from the UK, Ireland and around the world .

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This is what many of the dogs look like when they are rescued from the barbaric conditions they are subjected to

“A few years ago I found out that Irish greyhounds were being exported to China for breeding so I started looking for these dogs but then I started looking at the dog meat trade to see if there were any greyhounds involved in the meat trade are, and it kind of started from there.”

Kerry said she started by rescuing ten dogs at a time from China before founding her company, Candy’s Hound Rescue International, which also specializes in transporting dogs to the UK from “horrific” conditions in China.

She continued, “It’s just a snowball. We have over 200 dogs at the moment but due to Covid I haven’t been able to travel to China for the last two years. I normally go back and forth to China to check the dogs are ok, I go to the meat markets and slaughterhouses and bring dogs back to the UK but obviously Covid has put a stop to that.



More than 500 dogs have been rescued by the charity since its inception in 2017
More than 500 dogs have been rescued by the charity since its inception in 2017

“We haven’t really gotten any dogs back in 2020, but we’ve been slowly getting the odd dog out over the past few months. It was so expensive for flights – for a greyhound last year it was £7,000 just to get them to the UK whereas we are now seeing around £2,500 which is still a lot of money but compared to what it was , it’s not that bad.

“We had one flight for a total of 36 dogs over a six week period and the flight that arrived on March 8th is the third. I have three more flights after this one. I have these dogs en route to the UK and I have just flown from Beijing to Italy. [The dogs] spend a week in quarantine in Italy just to make sure they are okay and then they are driven from Italy to the UK.

“It’s quite a big task and we’re constantly trying to raise funds. I care for most of the dogs at my home so I don’t have kennels and last week I had 20 dogs at home because of course I run Greyhound Protection UK too and I also have about five or six rescue homes in the Midlands that I help really trust, but most of them come through me.



The dogs are then returned to the UK and other places to live the happy life they deserve
The dogs are then returned to the UK and other places to live the happy life they deserve

“We’re not just rescuing greyhounds – we’re rescuing boxers, collies, toy poodles, chihuahuas – every breed you can think of. What I do with the non-greyhounds is that they’re rescued here with people I’ve worked with for years and have experience with these dogs.”

Kerry said she has several volunteers who come and help take care of the dogs and walk them.

Speaking about the conditions the dogs face in China, Kerry said, “Greyhound racing is big money for some people and a lot of people want certain Irish dogs because of bloodline. The Chinese will spend a fortune on ex-racing greyhounds from Ireland or Britain, bring them to China and get them into kennels, breed them and then sell them all over China.



Kerry has dedicated her life to rescuing these beautiful dogs
Kerry has dedicated her life to rescuing these beautiful dogs

“When they stop running, they go to the meat market.

“I was in China on the underground tracks where they race these dogs and then I went to the meat market and it’s full of greyhounds. It’s terrible.

“We’ve seen [the dogs] all stacked on top of each other in the big battle wagons. Sometimes it was so hot in China that they died of heat stroke in the vans from just being exposed to all the heat. And then there are the freezing temperatures.



The charity relies heavily on donations due to the high cost of shipping the dogs from China
The charity relies heavily on donations due to the high cost of shipping the dogs from China

“I’ve seen dead carcasses of dogs hanging from hooks at the butchers’ before they were killed. The butchers tend to stab the dogs or beat them while individual people cook them alive or skin them alive because they believe that the more trauma the dogs have suffered, the better the meat will be. It’s horrible for them.”

Kerry said about 25 percent of people in China eat dog meat, which equates to about 300 million people.

She continued, “These dogs from China are the cutest dogs you can meet.”

Learn more about Candy’s Hound Rescue International and how you can donate here.

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