Some 300 volunteers in Qijiang county, Chongqing are attempting to secure the release of nearly 900 dogs that are suspected of being stolen from their owners and were found Saturday on a truck heading for dog meat restaurants in Guangdong Province.
Peng Tao, one of the volunteers, told the Global Times Monday that the dogs were in terrible condition. "Eight dogs died the day I arrived." Peng was among the first to come to the dogs aid on Saturday. "Some dogs have broken legs and damaged eyeballs," he said.
The volunteers who spotted the truck called the police and the dogs were moved to a nearby school yard. Peng said the animals were still being held five to a cage until volunteers brought larger cages on Monday.
Many of the volunteers who came to the schoolyard were looking for their missing pets. Peng said six or seven dog owners were able to identify their lost dogs. Police say they won't release the pets to the owners until local authorities complete their investigation.
"It's not known where all these dogs are from, and the dog dealers cannot provide certificates for each dog," said Peng.
According to quarantine regulations issued by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2011, dog and cat owners must obtain proof their animals have been vaccinated before they are transported.
Qin Xiaona from the Capital Animal Welfare Association told the Global Times Monday that cases like this are not uncommon in China, adding that most of the dogs are stolen pets.
Animal quarantine authorities in Qijiang county could not be reached Monday.
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