Animal lovers spotted the truck - filled with golden retrievers and other breeds - on the highway, said Peter Li, associate professor of East Asian politics at the University of Houston–Downtown and China policy specialist for the Humane Society International.
Li, who's been in touch with the Chinese activists, told The Dodo that they immediately sent text and WeChat messages to other activists, and, eventually, caught up with the vehicle and surrounded it.
"Then they mobilized nationwide activists to call local law enforcement to stop the truck," he said. "At the same time the activists went to see [the] local animal quarantine inspection office to verify if the truck driver had the proper documents for trans-provincial dog shipment."
The truck driver did not. Chinese regulations demand that for shipments between provinces, quarantine inspections issued by veterinarians must accompany each dog. But in this case, the driver produced one certificate for all 180 dogs, the activists told Li. Furthermore,the certificate said the dogs were all strays from Tibet and being shipped for farming purposes.
According to Li, Tibetans do not eat dogs.
The truck was on its way to one or more slaughterhouses in Jilin, says Li; the area is a Korean stronghold and dog eating is quite common in the region. Two slaughterhouses in the area kill some 146,000 dogs a year, he adds. (See New Republic's "Horrifying Photos of China's Dog Eating Festival - and the Activists Who Are Trying to Stop It.")