In an unprecedented event in China, an animal rights activist who has identified himself to the press as Mr. An Lidong sparked a mass action to save hundreds of dogs loaded onto a truck that was transporting them to several hotpot restaurants.
In a telephone interview reported by China Daily, An explained that he was driving along the Jingha Expressway when he saw the truckload of dogs. He managed to cause the truck to stop and then he posted the news on his microblog.
He was soon joined by animal rights campaigners in what became a fifteen-hour standoff.
Online news report different numbers for the dog count, but there were more than 400 of them cramped togther in cages stacked in the truck. The transport of the animals was legal, and at one point it seemed that the activists would lose and the truck - with the dogs - would be able to proceed.
However, the the Lee Pet Vet animal hospital and animal rights charity Shangshan Foundation forked out 115,000 yuan for the purchase of the dogs from the trucker. The animals were then taken to the China Small Animal Protection Association (CSAPA) shelter and other animal hospitals in Beijing
Some of the dogs have died, many have been found quite ill, and most are receiving treatment. Several of the dogs have bells and name tags and are of special breeds. The dogs are being prepared for adoption, however, most of them are too large to be legally kept as pets in Beijing.
The CSAPA is soliciting for donations to pay for the sterilization of the rescued animals.