NoToDogMeat Update: Totalgiving Fundraiser for Mrs Yang/Yulin

For the last three years the NoToDogMeat team have actively campaigned against the horrific Yulin Festival in China. This year we really wanted to make a difference and have our own ‘boots’ on the ground. Our plan was to raise funds in order to send our own small team to China and, having been active in various rescues in Shanghai that year, we felt sure we could help.

Our Chinese volunteer Natalie reached out to rescuer Mrs Yang who has been widely reported in the news and in May she met our UK volunteer in Shanghai. We were sad to learn that for over 20 years Mrs Yang, a retired school teacher, had run a sanctuary without any help. She explained to our UK volunteer Sophie that not one group had supported her with funds during that whole time.

As an organisation set up to help grass-roots organisations in Asia we receive many requests for help and we had set aside modest funds to distribute during the trip to China. When Mrs Yang told us of her plight and how all the dogs in her shelter were starving we immediately gave her a grant from this fund. She told us this money would feed the dogs on basic supplies for an entire month.

We wanted to do more for Mrs Yang, so instead of fundraising to send our own team out to Yulin we decided to sponsor her and she agreed to wear our tee shirt and support our associated Chinese activists at protests.

Close to the time of Yulin we set ourselves the target of raising £5000 in a week to help Mrs Yang at that time. We dislike the idea of giving money to the butchers but we did not want the dogs to die. Our entire volunteer team set all their tasks aside and spent every waking hour telling people of Mrs Yang’s plight. We decided to use a very transparent online fundraiser – we wanted everyone to feel involved – but as with any fundraiser there are the hidden costs of Paypal, exchange rates and other charges.

By the Friday before the Yulin weekend we were delighted to have already hit our £5000 target. We quickly wired funds to Mrs Yang that day and over the next few days sent her three more direct Western Union transfers which we knew she could pick up at many local shops and venues in Yulin. We were thrilled to learn she had rescued around 500 dogs and cats and could not wait to tell our donors.

One recent source reports that other donors have contributed separately and that Mrs Yang had received over £30,000 to buy dogs by the time of Yulin. In addition to this the website Bored Panda had also published bank details which they said were Mrs Yang’s for anyone to donate to. When No To Dog Meat decides to act others follow and it is true that whenever we start a fundraiser, other groups take our lead and set up their own funds to exactly the same recipient. We are very proud to lead the way.

In the interests of transparency when we reached £50,000 (ten times our original goal for Mrs Yang in Yulin) we issued a formal press release. Surprised by the amount we had collected and mindful of just how many other similar independent rescue shelters in China are desperate for help we contacted our donors directly to ask them to consider that we share the fund with these other shelters – and the response has been very positive.

All UK charities have serious legal responsibilities when it comes to the distribution of funds they have raised. We have to show ‘due diligence’ in making sure that funds find their way into the right hands and are used for the purpose intended – in our case, helping dogs. In addition to this the UK has strict regulations regarding any sending of money abroad, in order to prevent fraud, money laundering, funding of terrorism, organised crime and so on. These considerations together with certain other practical security aspects of the international banking system has meant that never could we simply have sent a cheque abroad for the full amount collected the moment we had it – even if we had thought this was the best thing to do.

Given the unexpected size of the fund raised and the unconfirmed status of banking facilities available in the proposed recipient’s country we sought advice from the Charity Commission regarding transfer and dispersal of the funds to ensure it meets the charity and fund’s objectives. At the time of Yulin there had been uncertainty over the safe collection of the transfers that were sent and of the reliability of bank details and these aspects legally demanded of us increased diligence and caution with regards to sending further amounts. We informed the Charity Commission of the money already sent to Mrs Yang (to date it is over 20% of the total raised) the method of sending, and set down with them a timetable of action for safe completion of this project. This included establishing satisfactory banking facilities in China which would allow Mrs Yang and other agreed associates to access funds and give us complete confidence that funds will be ultimately used for the purpose intended – helping the dogs. The Charity Commission advised us that in order to safeguard dispersal of donations and ensure the intended usage at least two further visits and inspections by us to Mrs Yang’s shelter would be advisable – one this year and one next year.

Our charity WPDCMT (NoToDogMeat Foundation) aims one day to be able to pay staff to work on it’s projects full-time but, to date, no-one directly involved has ever received any wages, fees for work or payment for time (other than outside agencies such as our phone-paging service). This includes the CEO and founder Julia de Cadenet who has worked tirelessly and at great personal expense. Despite the success of the recent fundraiser this has remained the case.

In times of crisis, WPDCMT/NoToDogMeat Foundation is mandated by our legal charity objectives (https://notodogmeat.wordpress.com/our-charity/) to facilitate emergency food rations and medical treatment in shelters. In the long term, our hope is to help Mrs Yang create a new safe shelter for the dogs and for that we will really need the further help of our supporters. We are deeply encouraged that since Yulin many other rescues have taken place – including the ‘#707’ dog truck rescue in Tianjin, the home city of Mrs Yang (who was once again on the scene to help). There are many rescuers all over China just like Mrs Yang and this gives us great hope that Asia is changing.

Update #707Tianjin Dog Truck Rescue!

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Via Compassion for China’s Animals (https://www.facebook.com/CompassionForChinasAnimals?fref=ts)
!! Update ‪#‎707Tianjin‬ ‪#‎dogmeat‬ truck rescue – quarantine period over – now safe from the hands of the traders to local shelters !!
The activists compensated truck owner for smashed windscreen in order to reach agreement to benefit dogs. They were released to local shelters to care for quarantined dogs.
They are receiving good care – The terrible conditions aboard the truck have taken their toll on some dogs.
Thankfully, these dogs who have suffered enough were not affected by the recent Tianjin explosion.

Walk a NoToDogMeat London Mile, Oxford Street this Saturday!

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Are you in London this Saturday? If you can make it, be at Marble Arch by 11am to raise awareness along Oxford Street by handing our leaflets with us. NoToDogMeat will be walking from Marble Arch for a mile until we reach Tottenham Court Road. We will not be staying long at Marble Arch so be on time to avoid missing us! Julia De Cadenet, CEO of NoToDogMeat will also be there with the samoyeds!

Bok Nal is Today! Please email Korean Parliament Now!

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Please send an email to the list provided.  You can just copy and paste the whole list and send the whole lot in one go. Sample letter below.

yit92@hanmail.net; m567h@na.go.kr; smlee@assembly.go.kr; yiwy5777@naver.com; ykchoi@kmib.co.kr; anyang21@hanmail.net; jhjeon411@naver.com; vision2015@assembly.go.kr; tong@giljw.com; 2030minju@hanmail.net; ktn0320@daum.net; khp316@na.go.kr; bjmin@na.go.kr;

Please attach some photos of the torture to your emails, if you know how.

Photos  can be found by clicking the pictures below (then click ‘previous’ and ‘next’ on the facebook page)

You can just paste in this link, or download some of the torture photos from the Food Torture page, and email them with them letter.

Thank you

Sample Letter

To: Korean Parliamentary League on
Children Population and Environment

Dear Parliamentary Member

The Bok Days Festival in South Korea runs from July and August each summer. Last year there were cases of dogs and cats being burnt alive and boiled alive. This ancient torture of animals does not belong in a state within the United Nations Country. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who is also a Korean, speaks of civil society and a culture of peace.  We ask the Korean Parliamentary League on Children, Population and Environment to make illegal the torture and boiling alive of dogs and cats, and any other animal. Last year at the Bok Days Festival, children were sold toy dogs, with knives and sticks attached – so they could practice torture of dogs….

Please end dog and cat meat trade, because the business is based in torture. Dogs and cats are sentient beings and should not be eaten.

Some Korean children are still being taught that dogs are bad, and deserving of torture. Please end this ancient culture of hate.

Some Korean families buy a dog or cat from the market, take it home, torture it and boil it alive. Please stop this disgrace.

Groups of young men beat and torture dogs because they believe they will gain sexual process by eating tortured dogs.

Yours Faithfully,

NoToDogMeat Protest Bok Nal at LA Korean Consulate Rally last Friday!

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About 50 people gathered in front of the Korean Consulate in Los Angeles last Friday afternoon (August 7th).  NoToDogMeat supporters traveled from as far as Northern California and Arizona to protest against the brutal torture of dogs and cats in Korea during the BOK NAL FESTIVAL (where over a million dogs are tortured for human consumption) from July – August.

USA  NoToDogMeat co-founders Fia Perera and Lori Alan led the rally as activists marched for several blocks around the consulate chanting “Dogs and Cats are friends and family not Food! “.

The rally garnered a great deal of support and attention from the public as well as several notable Korean newspapers.  Many people were shocked by the graphic picture on the banner showing several skinned puppies being boiled alive. People were also equally disturbed to hear that there is a very pervasive underground dog meat trade here in California, USA.

Fia made it clear that Americans can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to this torture and cruelty as it affects the future well-being of all of our beloved pets in the U.S. In fact in 44 states there is a pet consumption loophole that states it’s legal to eat your dog or cat – which NoToDogMeat USA is committed to closing with the help of HSI and LCA (Last Chance for Animals) and many other animal welfare organizations.

At the end of the rally a signed petition was hand delivered to the Korean consulate asking Korea to put an end to the Korean dog meat trade and festival and to recognize the serious health ramifications of serving diseased dog meat to the general public. Perera and Alan made it clear that they will take this to the UN and heralded all involved in the momentous day that no matter what the outcome is #NoActionIsTooSmall for these dogs and cats that are begging for their lives.

London Korean Festival ‘Shamed’ by Protesters – Audrey Connor, NTDM Supporter

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More pictures on Demotix, click her http://www.demotix.com/node/2284865
A day of security men, shocked visitors, mindless taunts, hope & despair and an irate Korean official…
Personal account of the London Korean Festival by NoToDogMeat campaigner Audrey Connor.

As soon as I heard about the London South Korean Festival I was so outraged I immediately booked my return bus tickets for the 850 mile round trip. I simply couldn’t believe it – a country that routinely tortures dogs and cats being given a platform to promote itself in Trafalgar Square? Pretending to be a modern nation that decent people might want to visit? I was also so incensed that I fired off an angry email to London mayor, Boris Johnson demanding to know how he can justify allowing this country centre-stage in our capital city at any time, let alone during the heartbreaking horror of the Bok Nal Dog Soup “festival”. Tragically, many of us are only too aware of the horrific cruelty suffered by our furry friends during this annual mass slaughter. Defenceless dogs – some former pets – tortured by people who believe that the more these animals suffer, the better their meat will taste, and the more health benefits they will gain from eating their tortured flesh. I doubt it is possible for a lie to be more wicked and more preposterous.

This was my second such trip to London on the overnight bus. I had never attended a protest in my life until last month when, at the age of 54, I was driven to undertake the journey to hold banners aloft and shout at the top of my voice outside the South Korean Embassy at Buckingham Gate. The distressing images of puppies trying to climb out of pots in a futile effort to avoid being boiled alive and dogs with their mouths tied shut being cooked alive with a blowtorch were keeping me awake at night. The monsters carrying out this viciousness cannot possibly have a heart, a conscience, a soul.

So I packed a few essentials in my rucksack, then headed into Glasgow for the overnight bus to London hoping to catch some sleep en route. A couple of laughing young girls got on and one of them took the seat next to me.

“Are you off on holiday to London?” I asked, chattily.

“No, we’re going to the Korean Festival.”

Thinking I had quickly found an ally I said, “Oh, great, I’m protesting too.”

She looked at me blankly so I mentioned the hideous wickedness of Korea’s dog meat trade.

“Well, we’re going to watch a pop group,” she sniffed. “Anyway, other countries eat dogs as well,” she added dismissively as if somehow two wrongs made a right. Awkward journey ahead…

I arrived bleary eyed at Victoria Bus Station, freshened up as best I could, grabbed my city map then set off in search of Trafalgar Square. This famous London landmark was sectioned off with partitions emblazoned with colourful photographs of Koreans in national dress, flag fluttering in the breeze against a blue sky and the proud proclamation “London Korean Festival 2015”. I was many hours too early for the rendezvous time with my fellow campaigners. A lone voice of protest, I sat on a wall at the entrance in the hot sunshine wearing my No To Dog Meat vest and clutching a small, homemade placard showing my revulsion at Korea’s dog meat cruelty. A queue had formed and a group of six local girls were at the front. Buoyed by the safety of their number and egged on by each other, they began to taunt me, calling me a racist and a “stereotyper”. I told them this cause has nothing to do with race and asked them if they had pets at home. One told me she had a cat. “Do you know that in South Korean kittens are boiled alive in a pressure cooker to make cat juice?” I asked. “Well, it’s not my cat,” she snorted. To say I was stunned by her heartlessness would be an understatement. They proceeded to ridicule me, mocking my compassion saying I was one person and they planned to eat as much dog meat as they could find. “Well, I hope you choke on it,” I concluded, perhaps a tad uncharitably, as I realised there was no point wasting another breath on selfish idiots.

I wandered around the event passing stalls where visitors could try on traditional Korean costumes and paused at exhibits by LG and Hyundai. In the background, guitars twanged as a band rehearsed on stage. A stand sold Korean food and I wondered, they wouldn’t dare, would they? The realisation that I would not be responsible for my actions were I to find man’s best friend on the menu stopped me from approaching the vendors. Well, I had to be at work on Monday – not appearing in court! A female English-accent voice boomed from the stage welcoming everyone to the Korean festival saying we are all friends and what a great day was in store. Perhaps not such a good day if you are fur-coated, four-legged and live in their homeland, I thought.

Finally, the troops arrived and it was a relief to see support in the shape of No To Dog Meat activists and Korean Dogs campaigners. We formed a procession along the edge of the Korean bunting where we unfurled our banners, held placards and posters and handed out leaflets. There was even a poignant shrine to the slaughtered dogs. I was chatting with a fellow supporter when a London Bobby approached us. Oh no, were we going to get a telling off, even arrested? Far from it, rather than getting out his notepad, he produced his mobile phone, proudly showing us pictures of his beloved dog. No words were needed; we knew we had his support.

Some of the campaigners had brought their dogs with them and visitors to the event stopped to stroke our pets.

“Do you know that in South Korea two and a half million dogs are tortured and slaughtered every year?” I would ask. My intention was to raise awareness, not to upset people but many were visibly shocked. Clearly they had no idea of the depth of depravity and horror inflicted on defenceless animals by the nation that was hosting the event they were attending on a sunny Sunday in August.

I’m pleased to say that many attendees approached us, asking to sign petitions, requesting copies of our literature. In fact, the overwhelming majority were appalled and disgusted and couldn’t believe that such evil exists in the 21st century. I spoke to a few young Koreans who were friendly and welcoming and insisted that they personally had never eaten dog. Indeed, a few had pet pooches of their own. They, too, were keen to sign petitions to bring an end to this barbaric business in their homeland. I found their attitude encouraging. Sadly, my optimism dwindled somewhat when an older lady supporter showed me her poster highlighting the dog meat trade – she had kept this picture for twenty years… I thought of the pain and agony of millions of helpless dogs butchered over the last two decades and I wished with all my heart that we could do more.

Security turned up – at the behest of the South Korean organisers I assume. Apparently, our presence was not welcome and we were told to leave. I asked what law we were breaking and was fobbed off with the excuse that we were at an organised event so couldn’t hand out leaflets. I said we would stop giving the leaflets but he still demanded we leave as our T-shirts displayed slogans.
Undeterred, we amassed at the entrance which actually made our task easier as we were able to speak to tourists as they waited to get in, that way, we didn’t miss as many people. Perhaps the organisers realised they might have inadvertently done us a favour. Without warning, we were confronted by an extremely angry South Korean woman who ranted at us that our dog meat protest had brought embarrassment and shame to her country. Mission accomplished, then madam!

Never in my life have I wished to intentionally offend, shame or embarrass any person or nation. But until South Korea outlaws this unspeakable cruelty, I will continue to speak out and write letters to politicians demanding action. I will plead with celebrities to add their name to the cause, send emails and correspondence to Ban Ki-Moon as well as to South Korean politicians. I will post on facebook appealing to everyone to boycott Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia, Daewoo, etc and I will spend every spare moment tweeting to raise awareness.

On my earlier trip to London, when we loudly protested outside the Korean Embassy getting toots of support from passing motorists, I went into the reception and asked to speak to the Ambassador, or at least his PA. However, as soon I’d answered the young Korean man’s ‘what’s it regarding?’ I was told that I would have to make an appointment.

“I’ve telephoned this embassy five times over the last couple of weeks,” I told him calmly. “I’ve left messages and my phone number at your press office and I’ve emailed twice. Nobody has bothered to return my calls or reply to my emails. So now I’ve travelled all the way from Glasgow.”

I was told to take a seat and he would see what he could do. Sometime later he called me over saying both the Ambassador and his assistant were too busy but if I left my mobile, he’d ring me to return later in the day. That was weeks ago and I’m still waiting. Sometimes I try not to think of the suffering inflicted on South Korea’s helpless dogs. But deep down I know my efforts to find peace of mind are doomed to fail until the powers that be in this country outlaws this barbaric, merciless savagery once and for all. Our fight still has a long way to go.

Audrey Connor

Protest at Korean Consulate LA! Friday 7th August 2015 1-4pm PST

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Can you be at the Korean Consulate in Los Angeles this Friday? Come speak out against the horrific BOK NAL dog meat festival that is going on right now in Korea where one million dogs are being brutally tortured for human consumption. IF YOU’VE GOT A DOG, WE NEED YOU! We must put pressure on our elected officials, trading partners as well as the Korean Consulate. Julia De Cadenet CEO of NoToDogMeat will be there to lead the protest.#NoActionIsTooSmall!

Protest will be at the Korean Consulate in Los Angeles 1-4pm PST 3243 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90010

Click to join event on facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/1679679575593789/