My experience spending time at Plush Bears shelter in Baicheng China, 25/09/2018 - 05/10/2918 By Vegan activist Zaher Naoum
Enough is enough I thought to myself. I could no longer just sit back and see the atrocities against helpless and defenseless animals and remain indifferent.
I had to do something. I felt compelled to go to China and do my activism, a country where there isn't one single animal protection law. I had followed Plush Bear's shelter on Fb for sometime and became very familiar with the 2 amazing activists, Nom Aly and Callum Deacy.
I made donations, shared their posts but that wasn’t enough for me.
I wanted to be there with them on the ground, to support and to help in person.
After few conversations with Nom we agreed that I would travel there during Callum’s next trip at the end of September 2018. I quickly booked my flight ticket and obtained my visa from the Chinese embassy in Israel . On the 24/09/2018 I left Israel and flew to China arriving at Changchun airport on the 25/09 at 10:30am.
Both Plush and Callum were there waiting for me upon my arrival.
Meeting them for the first time was an absolute pleasure, I was so very happy and proud to meet those wonderful people.
Finally my dream to help rescue animals in China was becoming a reality.
Next we traveled 5 hours by car to to Baicheng, the city where is the shelter located.
On the way we stopped to have lunch and to be honest the food in China was my biggest worry, but after few meals in the restaurant I must say that it was one of the most delicious meals that I had eaten in my entire life and I was thrilled that I could eat 100% vegan food.
At 17:00 local time we arrive to the new shelter which was still under construction. I could see it was a very big place and even had a swimming pool for the dogs. Plush’s husband Cheng was there with some of the other workers. Cheng is a very nice and kind man , he works behind the scenes and he is so kind just like Plush.
26/10 ( Saturday) We woke up early and left the hotel to go to a local dog butcher that plush knows. Upon arrival, we saw a truck with big cages , inside were 8 beautiful dogs and one of them was a bulldog.
The weather was extremely hot but we had our water in the car.
The dogs inside the cages had no water or food and they were very thirsty , the poor bulldog was breathing very heavily and I could see she was terrified. We entered inside the yard and the first thing that we noticed was the blood on the floor.... We realised we must of arrived too late for that poor dog , R.I.P.
The place is so dirty and stinks! So many cages and a lot of sad eyes and misery.
It was heartbreaking to watch them like this. The dogs were kept in very small cages, with no water and the only “ food “ that they had was a strange mush with spicy red peppers?
It was so vile. I will never forget the look in their eyes, the sadness , the fear and the desperation, it’s heartbreaking. In another small and dirty room he kept 6 more dogs and they were all scared to death.
Also in one cage we saw a pregnant dog , oh god how very sad she was , her eyes were the windows of such pain. I went to the car and brought all the bottles of water that we had and took them inside. I quickly started giving it all to dogs in the big cage.
The husky in particular was so thirsty and the bulldog too , it was extremely hot that the metal from the cages could cause burns to the skin 😓😓 Plush insisted that the butcher gave all the dogs water and thankfully complied. Plush and Callum started to bargain the butcher about the price but we didn’t have time even to ask for donations and had to pay in full before we left.
He refused to accept a deposit and we had no choice to clear balance. On that day we rescued 24 dogs , I paid 60% of the amount plush and Callum the rest .
I saw 2 black ducks in the cage but the butcher refuse to sell them , he planned to kill them for food later that day .
When we paid the whole amount I told Plush to ask him again to sell us the 2 ducks 🦆,
I really love ❤️ ducks .
She told him that I won’t leave if he won’t sell us the ducks, he looked at me and smiled, like the “ the smile of the devil." But we were able to rescue the 2 ducks, which made me happy. I had previously seen dogs inside the cages only on Facebook but this time it was so different, I was there , I saw their fear , their sad eyes , their suffering. I touched them , gave them water and asked for forgiveness because no sentient being deserve this 💔. I’m so ashamed of humanity , so ashamed of mankind . The pregnant dog had birth of 8 beautiful and healthy puppies which was a wonderful blessing.
27/28 /09 ( Thursday, Friday) We spent most of our time at the shelter and helped plush with the animals. Many dogs had skin disease and she had to remove the fur in order to apply the medicated lotion. Playing with the dogs and getting to hug them and cuddle them was our great pleasure and the thing that we loved the most. We took a lot of dogs outside the shelter for a walk, we could see how happy they are and the eyes tell everything , the way they looked at us they were just so happy. It’s an amazing experience being in plush bears shelter in China, to be part of this wonderful team, who work to rescue dogs from the abhorrent meat trade. Amazing to see how much the dogs bond to plush, she is like their mother and a woman who works so hard to take care of them all.
Her love and dedication is palpable and unique.
I saw how the dogs look for her cuddles and touch, she is amazing . I must say that I miss the dogs so much, they are fur babies, so pure and innocent . I will adopt 2 samoyeds in the future, they are gorgeous, funny and I absolutely love them .
I want to give them a better life, full of love, magical moments and safety.
29/09 ( Saturday) Today was the day we had been waiting for, the big meat market in Baicheng, open only on Saturdays . Callum planned a big dog rescue on this particular day. We woke up early on Saturday to find out that the weather was bad, heavy rain and very cold. We were very concerned that the dog meat traders wouldn't attend the Market in such bad weather conditions and it was our last Saturday I China.
We left the hotel to go to the meat market and on the way the rain just stopped, we felt such a huge relief. We arrived to the market early, it wasn’t full but we could see already the dealers weighing the dogs and the “ Boss “ was there. By 'Boss' I mean the main dog butcher in Baicheng, who owns the 2 largest slaughterhouses.
He is scum , the trash who buy the dogs from the dealers and sell them to the restaurant owners .
To rescue the dogs we must deal with him as he controls everything there . So sad and heartbreaking to see this cruelty, to see them suffer, humiliated, and sold as objects. I saw only cages at the market.......rabbits inside cages , ducks , little dogs , puppies, fish , chickens all locked inside cages . Dogs are loaded to the truck after being weighed, they load them with so much brutality and violence . They use the metal tongs that clamp around the dogs necks to strangle and restrict them before throwing each one on the truck with so much hatred and evilness. Nothing can describe this pain, it’s sheer terror, violent and odious in every way.
No animal deserves this 💔😪 Callum and Plush asked the butcher to keep the dogs for us, all of the dogs 🐕. Me, plush and Callum went to see what we can rescue also , I rescued 4 more white ducks 🦆 and 4 white rabbits 🐇 , Callum rescued 5 cats . My soul was so sad when suddenly I heard the screams of more innocent animals.
Screams you can hear hundreds of meters away.
In the middle of the market they castrated a pig 🐷, the pigs cry and shout just like babies ,
I can still hear these screams until this moment, so sad 😞 I must be strong for them , my mission is to rescue not fall apart , I want to go on and save others . Was very sad day for all of us , but we must go on and be strong for them , they need us . After the market we traveled to the slaughterhouse to pay the deposit and to weighing the dogs that reserved from the market today . Another torture for them and for us ,more cruelty and abuse followed just by the way they load and unload the dogs .
30/09 ( Sunday ) We went to another meat 🥩 market that plush knows . There we found dog dealers and the same butcher that we met the day before . Plush and Callum asked him to keep all the dogs for the shelter, so he took all of the dogs that were for sale in that day . The same images, animals inside the cages , rabbits , chickens, puppies and small dogs .
On this day I rescued 11 dogs and 16 ducks, this time different colored ducks not white just for a change .
I took a pictures with the first 2 dogs that I rescued , they were old and had no chance that someone will buy them as pets.
There was a high possibility was that they will be sold to the restaurant, now they are safe in plush bears shelter .
After that plush and Callum called me to show me a small dogs inside 2 cages , 9 dogs we rescue.
The driver that works for the shelter picked up all the ducks and the dogs that we bought . In the middle of the market we saw a donkey that had been skinned alive
A man standing next to the dead body was selling his flesh to the people 💔🤮,
It was hard to see the eyes of the dead donkey, they were still open , just awful , vile and sadistic.
They even eat rats, no animal is safe. China is hell to animals they kill and eat everything that breath , unbelievable what is going there . We left the market and traveled to the slaughterhouse to see how much dogs we have there. The same cruelty and torture in loading and unloading the poor dogs . Watching this is a torture for us also not only for the dogs . but this is the way that they do it, the only way that they know , violence and brutality against sweet and innocent dogs , heartbreaking 💔💔 We paid another deposit so the butcher kept the dogs for the shelter . Callum asked the butcher to give him a gift and let him choose a dog for his birthday , the butcher agreed.
Callum choose the biggest dog in the pen.
I also couldn’t stay quiet I asked him for a gift for me also saying it’s my also birthday
(although it wasn't really) everyone smiled and plush asked me to choose the dog that I want to take . Earlier in the market plush took a small dog that she didn’t want to leave there, he was shaking and terrified of the other dogs.
Callum decided to take the small dog to the hotel and my mission was to help Callum to hide the dog, it’s forbidden to have dogs inside the hotel . He stayed with us until we left China . It’s very very hard and so sad to see all this atrocities, the abuse and the torture , but we smile only when we saw the truck inside the shelter, full of rescued dogs, that was our joy and no one could hide the smile on his face .
01/10 ( Monday) We left the hotel going to the shelter . We must play with the dogs every single day , take some of them for a walk . In that day plush asked us to put new collars on the dogs . It was also a donation for the shelter . It was funny 😄 how the dogs wanted to play when we tried to put the collars on them . This actually was plush idea so we can recognize the new arrival dogs that should be arrive on the 3/10 . After we finished with the collars we left the shelter , we went to buy blankets for the dogs , they need blankets , it’s already cold and winter is near . We had a full car of blankets , we bought all what the woman had , I paid for it as a gift for the dogs . Plush is happy when we bought things for the shelter and the dogs , the shelter is her precious baby . This activities is our response to cruelty and abuse , we rescue and we take care of them , it’s our weapon against this atrocities , our moral obligations also towards the defenseless and the helpless animals .
02/10 Callum’s birthday 🎁 We decided in that day to buy 200 wild birds 🦅 and to release them as a gift to our dear friend Callum . Callum is the mind behind all the fundraising in plush shelter , he is the man who makes the videos, write the posts in plush page and makes connections with other rescue groups like Candy Cane rescue organization, that works hard to save the greyhounds in China.
Recently they came from the UK to adopt 10 dogs, and they are already in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧. I wish Callum the best of the best , he is a wonderful activist , work hard to provide money for the shelter the new shelter that they open 6 weeks ago is a big credit to him . Another 40 greyhounds will be adopted in the next few months, along with 49 golden retriever dogs , 2 Japanese shiba inus, 3 malinois, 1 samoyed, 1 shitzu, 2 French bulldogs, 1 Irish setter, and 3 German shepherd dogs. In the evening we went to restaurant to celebrate his birthday, we had a beautiful evening with all the Chinese volunteers. Finally I learned how to eat with chop sticks , not always perfectly but with me but I keep trying until I get it.
03/10 ( the arrival of the rescued dogs ) We left the hotel going to the slaughterhouse so we could clear the balance and get our rescued dogs 🐶. Plush and Callum deal with money, they paid the butcher and thus the dogs are ours .
I asked the butcher to make a video inside the slaughterhouse and he agreed.
I saw blood on the floor and the machine that remove the fur from the skin.
I was shocked to see the flesh of a dog , they had already cut it all up..
I felt like I want to vomit 🤮, dogs are our friends not food ,
I felt so angry, I told Callum they they just slaughtered a dog inside .
They eat dogs , they didn’t hide it , they say it with pride , laughing when I asked.
Humans can go so low and become monsters when they lose their morals and humanity . Soon we left the slaughterhouse with the truck, full of our new rescued dogs going directly to the shelter . When we arrived and the dogs start to exit from the truck , no one of them is allowed to use the metal stick to hurt the dogs , it’s us who unload the dogs with our hands , with hug and love 💕. Everyone of us was excited, plush put her blue overalls , to help the dogs get out of the truck and this time they arrived home , it’s plush Bears shelter not the slaughterhouse and here the dogs are safe , they will have a loving mother “ plush “ and will get any thing they need . The dogs of the shelter were happy too , they barked a lot and came out out from the big area to welcome their new friends , the new arrivals, had tears in my eyes , everyone was smiling, excited and proud . We had 130 new rescued dogs arrive that day .
04/10 ( leaving Baicheng) We left Baicheng at noon , so early in the morning we went to the shelter , to say goodbye 👋 to the dogs 🐕, with hugs and kisses 😘 . It was very hard for me , to separate from them , knowing that I won’t see them tomorrow . I looked for the 2 Samoyeds that I love the most , one of them is the cute troublemaker, he is jealous with tons of cuteness ❤️❤️ at noon we had lunch and after that we left Baicheng going to Changchun , at that night we stayed in the hotel near the airport , our flights is on the 05/10 ( tomorrow) in the morning .
05/10 ( last day in China ) My flight was early in the morning at 8:10 so we left the hotel early . We went to the airport all of us , me Callum and plush with her husband Cheng . They didn’t leave us until I made the check in , even my documents plush hold it , they waited with us in the line . I’m honored to meet those wonderful and beautiful people , I’m thankful for their great hospitality and goodness . We as internationals must know that China had a wonderful activists who fight day and night for animals welfare . I was there with them for 10 days , I can tell how amazing they are . I have to say thanks to Nom Aly and to Callum for their trust , and for this outstanding opportunity to be there and help on the ground . Animals are innocent , defenseless, they have no sin , no hate , no racism . They are a pure living souls , sentient beings not a food or cloth . Animals came from heaven and to heaven they will go back so please have mercy on them don’t let speciesism and supremacy to convert humans to ugly monsters . animals are her to be with us not for us , they are a gift 💝, the beauty of this planet 🌎 Humanity and morals are our existence, the goodness that we must protect and if we lose it we lose everything .
If I mentioned beauty , I must tell about my beauty , my boy an amazing German Shepherd, , my friend who lived with me for 12 years , this activism and the rescue goes to his beautiful memory . RIP Beauty , I know you are watching us from heaven , love ❤️ you .