I'm excited to share more good news in the tough fight to rid China of the cruel dog meat trade. This past weekend, Guangdong and Heilongjiang, normally home to two of China's biggest dog meat markets, and 13 other cities played host instead to massive protests against the dog meat trade - each one a marker of the changing perceptions of dogs in China and a sign of the growing resistance to the awful killing of these animals for meat.
Protesters brought their dogs with them, carried huge photos of pet dogs and cats with their owners, distributed leaflets calling for an end to the dog meat trade, and displayed the biggest banner of the event, reading "Punish Dog Theft and End Dog Meat Trade."
A good deal of the credit for this shift goes to Humane Society International and its local partners, which are part of a swelling animal protection movement in the world's largest nation. Over the past several years, these local partner groups have been on the ground in China, rescuing dogs from trucks carrying stolen dogs and pets to their doom at the dog meat market, talking to governments about changing laws that allow the killing of dogs for meat, protesting against this gruesome trade, and raising awareness internationally. In South Korea, we are making strides in changing attitudes and rescuing dogs farmed for the dog meat market. Over the past few months, dozens of dogs spared from butchery have instead been re-routed to the United States for adoption. They are ambassadors for the hundreds of thousands of dogs caught up in this ugly, unforgiving business. One of these rescued dogs in particular, Snowball, has captured the attention of millions of fans online, drawing more attention to the trade than any human ambassador could.