The dog was bound to a metal frame with an iron chain and looked scared out of its wits.
Trigger Warning: This story contains unsettling details of abuse against dogs.
What happens when a dog destined to end up on someone's plate decides to offer its paw to a passerby? It gets rescued. In this heartbreaking clip taken outside a dog meat store in north-eastern China's Jilin Province last October, an American Eskimo pup can be seen outside a dog meat store offering its paw to a stranger walking by, in what is quite possibly a real life-saving move. As per a Daily Mail report, this made the passerby, who fortunately happened to be a dog lover, quickly decide to adopt the pup then and there. The story became popular after the current owner shared the video on social media, urging the government to pass laws that would protect animals.
In the now-viral video, we see the sad-looking dog holding itself back while offering its right foreleg to the passerby. The dog, which was considered to be a Samoyed at first, was bound to a metal frame with an iron chain and looked completely scared out of its wits. "See how scared it was while waiting to be butchered at the dog meat store, and how hopeful it looked [while waiting for a human to save it]," the owner wrote in a post on Douyin, China's version of TikTok, as per the report. The woman then urged the government to bring in legislation "as soon as possible" to ban people from abusing animals.
The American Eskimo, named Yuan Yuan, met its current owner on October 26 last year and the clip was uploaded to the site nearly a year after it was rescued. As per Daily Mail, the owner has also uploaded several other photos and videos of the dog on Douyin, which shows that Yuan Yuan is full of joy and even likes to "smile" at people. Wendy Higgins, a representative of the animal welfare group Humane Society International (HSI), believes that the dog may have been snatched away from its former owner before being transported to Jilin. Speaking to Mail Online, Higgins said: "The dog in the video responded to human kindness by offering a paw, a sure sign that this dog was almost certainly a former pet, likely stolen for the meat trade." She added that a strong law to protect animals is of absolute necessity around Asia where the animal meat trade has always been a issue. "That is the only way to stop them suffering," Higgins stated.
In another similar incident, several dozens of dogs waiting to be butchered at a live animal market were rescued around June as China readied itself to celebrate the annual dog meat festival. The dogs were tied up and ready to be slaughtered in Nanning, the capital of China's Guangxi Province, located towards the southern part of the country. The province is home to the annual Yulin dog meat festival, which takes place in the nearby city of Yulin, where thousands of dogs are killed to make delicacies out of them. The event occurred this year as well. It seems the pandemic didn't hinder the authorities from giving the go-ahead to hold the festival. Du Yufeng, a long-time Chinese animal rights campaigner, spoke to MailOnline, about the event and said the dogs were held at the "live poultry" section of the Wu Yi Farmers' Market in Nanning.