Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland pair on mission to rescue dogs from China's meat trade

Animal lover: Caolan Maguire
Animal lover: Caolan Maguire
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

Two Northern Ireland men are preparing to visit China to rescue dogs destined for the meat trade.

Caolan Maguire (26) runs Pets Lost and Found Fermanagh on social media.

At the end of January, Caolan, from Enniskillen, will be among five people travelling to China where they will spend time with, and help to rehabilitate, dogs in a rescue centre that have been saved from a horrific fate.

Among the group will be another animal lover, David Foster (38) from Co Antrim, who has a Facebook page 'Play for Strays' created to donate toys and boredom relief to rescue animals all over the world.

David recently transported an abused dog 5,000 miles from the Amazon back to Northern Ireland after finding the animal on a remote, uninhabited island.

When Caolan shared David's story on his own Facebook page, the two struck up a friendship. David then invited Caolan to join him on his mission to China, where it is estimated that 10 million dogs are slaughtered annually for the meat trade.

Caolan said: "Dogs of all shapes and sizes, many of them family pets still wearing their collars, are snatched from the streets and forced into tiny cages. Many suffer broken limbs as they are transported vast distances, without food or water.

"When they finally arrive at the dog meat markets, injured, dehydrated and exhausted, they are forced to watch in terror as other dogs are bludgeoned to death or thrown still alive into boiling water to remove their skins.

"David has offered me an opportunity of a lifetime which I feel would be pretty stupid to pass up."

Caolan says up to 25 dogs will be brought back from China and then transported to rescue centres across the UK to be rehomed.

As the trip is self funded, Caolan has set up a GoFundMe page to cover the expenses of his £1,500 trip including flights, hotels and visas and he also plans to run some fundraising events.

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