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    Dozens of dogs, cats arriving in NYC spared from Chinese slaughterhouse — and being served as meat

    By Steven Vago, Steve Janoski,


    Dozens of dogs and cats touched down in the Big Apple this week after a rescue group said they were spared from Chinese slaughterhouses that would’ve served them as meat.

    Volunteers from the New York-based No Dogs Left Behind showed up at JFK Airport in Queens on Tuesday with fluffy golden retrievers, curly-haired poodles and labrador mixes they claimed were set to be killed, then eaten during a controversial summer festival.

    “This is why I risk my life on the front lines: Because this dog would have been dog meat,” the foundation’s leader, Jeffrey Beri, told The Post as he held a poodle named Bluebell.
    Jeffrey Beri, founder of No Dogs Left Behind, saved nearly 50 dogs and cats he and the volunteers saved from the dog and cat meat trade in China. James Keivom

    “Never in your life would I let something like this be beaten and tortured.”

    Without their efforts, the animals would likely face a gruesome end, Beri said — they would be tortured, murdered and cooked as part of the heartless Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in the southern Chinese city of Yulin.

    The festival was launched in 2010 by dog meat traders who wanted to fight falling sales, according to the Humane Society International.

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    Although attendance at the 10-day event has waxed and waned over the years — especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic — butchers reportedly murdered more than 15,000 dogs at its height.

    But they’re not just slaughtered — they’re often beaten, burned, boiled or skinned alive first because of a misguided belief that their fear hormones make the meat taste better, animal activists said.

    “So [they] torture, torture, torture,” Beri, 59, of Canton, New York, told The Post. “The more you torture the animal, the more tender the meat is. [But] there is zero evidence of that … it’s all myths, and none of this is backed up by scientific evidence.”
    Beri told The Post that most of the dogs would likely be tortured, killed and eaten as part of a controversial festival in southern China. James Keivom
    Beri poses with Joan Downing of Boston, Massachusetts, and her dog, Theo. The group rescued Theo three years ago in similar fashion. James Keivom

    Activists in China have fought bitterly to end the annual event. But in the meantime, they do their best to save the dogs and cats from this savage fate.

    Beri said his group runs a complicated, militaristic operation that uses drones and teams of local activists and volunteers on the ground to monitor the dog killers’ movements, then intercept them.

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    “It happens like ‘The Fast and the Furious,’” Beri said, referencing a 2001 movie where a street gang uses hopped-up cars to hijack tractor-trailers.

    “We will follow the truck with 50 or 60 cars and intercept it,” he said. “Then we bring in news media and government officials, and we’ll demand they provide proof of where the dogs came from, where the cats came from.
    Maura Platz, a volunteer at No Dogs Left Behind, with a dog named Rogue at JFK Airport. James Keivom
    Beri estimates the group’s efforts have saved 20,000 dogs so far. James Keivom
    Many of the dogs arrived in crates last night after being flown across the world. James Keivom

    “Once they can’t provide that, the fines levy more than the price of the meat,” he continued, sayingthat they’ve likely saved about 20,000 dogs so far.

    “We act similar to the military. We are an underground army.”


    Several volunteers shared his shock that anyone would hurt the friendly pooches.

    “Do you believe these dogs were going to be someone’s dinner?” Candy, a longtime volunteer, asked as the adorable pups were freed from their crates outside a JFK cargo building. “Now they have a new life and love to come to.”

    Diane Weeks, a Connecticut woman there to adopt Latte the pug, said she couldn’t believe people still revel in the barbaric practice.
    Beri poses with a scared golden retriever that will taste freedom for the first time. James Keivom

    “It’s incredible, when I look at God’s creatures, to think that there’s such evil and ignorance that they can just do that to another creature,” Weeks told The Post.

    “It’s incredulous to me,” she continued. “I’m filled with joy — and it’s so sad to think of what [Latte] has been through.”

    Beri was seen in a video shared to the group’s Facebook page that showed him carrying a sweet, nervous golden retriever in his arms.

    “You’ll never see another day of hate in your life,” he crooned to the shell-shocked pup. “This is the moment we wait for.”

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