An Air China plane landed in New York with 45 very special passengers on Saturday.
The furry flyers were all dogs rescued from China’s meat markets, the New York Post reports.
They followed a first batch of 34 rescued mutts who landed on Friday.
Both batches were greeted with hugs and treats by their eager adopters, some of whom had waited the better part of a year to meet their new best friends and were eager to take them home and care for them.
The pooches were saved by No Dogs Left Behind, a charity which has operated a shelter in Beijing since 2017 and works to save pups from China’s dog meat farms and wet markets. They also target illegal traffickers and breeders.
Jeff Beri, the founder of the organisation, expects to bring in another 135 dogs early next year. He says that all the rescue dogs have been vaccinated and spayed before they are put up for adoption. He did not say whether they are also given a crash course in English doggy commands.
China has very few animal welfare laws, and it is not illegal to beat a dog or kill one inhumanely.
This year, with Covid-19 causing nationwide fear, many families have abandoned their pets or sold them to butchers as rumours spread that dogs can carry the virus and transmit it to humans.