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China: Around The Nation

Chinese animal lovers stage highway rescue, paying US$3,000 ‘ransom’ to save 260 caged dogs

Animals taken to rescue shelter after 100 people join in mission to free them

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 August, 2017, 1:37pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 August, 2017, 2:01pm

A group of animal lovers in eastern China have saved 260 dogs after they stopped a van on a highway and paid 20,000 yuan (US$2,980) for them.

The van, carrying hundreds of the dogs packed into small, cramped cages, was first spotted by a dog lover who was driving on the expressway in Shandong province and decided to trace the van after he became suspicious, ThePaper.cn reported.

It was not clear what the animals’ eventual fate would have been, but the man contacted the local health authorities to warn them that the dogs in the van might not have undergone quarantine.

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The van was later stopped by more than 100 dog lovers from different cities on Saturday.

They assembled in a service area in Qufu city and raised the 20,000 yuan in exchange for the dogs after negotiation with the driver.

The dogs were later sent to a shelter in Tengzhou city.

“Actually we are against the way of paying ransom to save the animals, but the agreement was already reached when we got there, “ an officer at Shandong Taishan Animal Protection Association, who also participated in the operation to save the animals, was quoted as saying.

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The officer said 20 of the dogs were infected with rabies and four of them had since died. The report did not say if local authority had launched an investigation into the case.