When rescuer Odessa Gunn accompanied Slaughterhouse Survivors, a Buddhist group that saves dogs from meat trucks that lead them to slaughterhouses, to a facility in Harbin, China, she found Ethel being chased by a large pack of dogs in a barren field full of mange-ridden, sick dogs.

Odessa Gunn

“As soon as I saw her, I knew she needed to come with me,” Gunn said “She was so shell-shocked. I held her in my arms, and she leaned right into me.”

She already had 10 other senior Chihuahua on rescue at home.

Odessa Gunn

Ethel barely had hair on her body and was covered in mange. She looked very weak because she was only fed cornmeal. One of her legs was also severely injured.

It was not clear where Ethel lived before but Gunn suspects that she must have been stolen from her owner or been abandoned to end up on the meat truck.

Odessa Gunn

Over 10 million dogs are slaughtered for food every year in China and its common for the dog farm owners to pay drivers to round up dogs.

Yulin dog meat festival is a famous festival in China that celebrates the killing of more than 10,000  dogs and cats each year to recognize the summer solstice.

Odessa Gunn

No dog breed, be it large or small, is spared from the torture.

“They use a lot of the toy breeds and puppies in soup,” Gunn said. “The dogs are boiled alive — and that was probably going to be Ethel’s fate … There’s nothing anyone could ever tell me for me to not be disturbed about the torture that these dogs are put through. I’ll never understand it.”

Odessa Gunn

Gunn immediately took Ethel to a vet after receiving her from the Buddhist rescue group. She was ina horrible shape but felt way much better only after some good food and a nice bath to soothe the irritation on her skin. Only a month later, she was able to fly to her new home in California with Gunn.

“When I met her there in the airport, I think she finally realized her life was about to get much better. She was exhausted, but I could see a little sparkle in her eyes,” said Gunn.

Odessa Gunn

All of Gunn’s other dogs warmly welcomed Ethel but one puppy, Jose, had taken particular interest in her. The reason is obvious.

“She’s the sweetest little thing,” Gunn said. “I think at some point in her life, somebody must have loved her. She gives kisses, and she and Jose ‘Little Man’ follow each other around everywhere. They’re inseparable.”

Odessa Gunn

Thankfully, Ethel has got rid of her Mange. But she still takes regular antibiotics and medicated baths to avoid infections. With the help of Compassion Without Borders (CWB), where Gunn regularly volunteers, she was able to get Ethel proper veterinary treatments.

“I was absolutely overwhelmed with how adorable she was,” said Christi Camblor, veterinarian and executive director of CWB. “She was clearly in poor shape, but her tail never stops wagging … We’re trying to get her in a better place of physical health first and do what we can to preserve some vision. Then the next step will be full X-rays of the leg, and dentals.”

Odessa Gunn

Despite the fact that Ethel appeared to be completely blind during her rescue, Camblor suspects thatb she has limited vision in one of her eyes. Ethel is also going to be taken for checking her eyes soon.

For now, Ethel is in a very warm environment with her foster siblings getting all the love she deserves and Gunn is even thinking of keeping her as the permanent member of her family!

Odessa Gunn

We hope everything turns out to be perfect!

Odessa Gunn

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