Animal advocates were hit with piercing cries echoing throughout the building while walking into a dark warehouse near Tianjin, China.
A thousand of glowing eyes were pleading for help as the rescuers peeked inside by switching light of their flashlights. The cats couldn’t move because they were stuffed into barren cages. The entire warehouse was dark, and it was filled with dozens of cages all stuffed with cats. They had nothing to eat. Some of the cats were still wearing the collars at their neck which they used to wear while living their lives as a pet.
The cats were compelled to live in the slaughterhouse until they would be killed for food. Thanks to advocates from China Animal Protection Power (CAPP), a rescue group formed with the help of Humane Society International (HSI) for changing their fate and giving them a new life.
“The first three cages of the cats we saw were heartbreaking,” Mr Huang, a lead rescuer with CAPP, mentioned in a press release. “They were cages of misery. The hungry and sick cats cried louder when we approached them as if asking us to help them.”
A local man informed the rescuers that his pet was stolen, and he believed that the pet was stolen by the employees of the slaughterhouse. The rescuers agreed to help him, and they were able to find his beloved pet among 375 cats.
Since the cats were not technically legal to farm, CAPP worked with local law enforcement to seize the cats. However, it’s unclear that whether the slaughterhouse operators will be punished or not because there are minimal legal protections for animals in China.
According to HIS, around 4 million cats face this fate each year in China but thankfully, with the help of rescuers these cats escaped the death. Now they are cared for at the local shelter in China.
Despite increasing voices against the practice of killing dog and cats for food, people in Yulin in the south are hosting a dog meat festival every year. The slaughterhouse workers drive the streets for stray dogs and then they stole pets from the farms.
“The way cats are killed for China’s meat trade is notoriously brutal,” Dr Peter Li, China policy specialist at HSI, said. “I have rescued cats from these slaughterhouses myself … [and they often have] piles of fur and pet collars thrown in the corner.”
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