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August 19, 2015

Cats Rescued from China's Yulin Festival Arrive in Washington, D.C.

HSI and local activists rescued the cats from a Chinese slaughterhouse in May

Humane Society International/WARL

  • Feeling safe at last. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for HSI

  • Terrified at the meat market.

  • HSI's Dr. Peter Li holds a collar taken from one of the cats. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for HSI

  • Peter helped save Huru's life. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for HSI

  • Secure in each other's company. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for HSI

  • The rescued cats have helped focus press and public attention on the cruelty involved in the dog and cat meat trades. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for HSI

  • Little Ricky with his new family. WARL

Two cats rescued by Humane Society International from a slaughterhouse in Yulin, China in May, are now safe in the United States. One of the cats, named Huru (meaning freedom in Swahili) by readers of the Daily Mirror in the UK, was featured in one of the most enduring and haunting images of this year's Yulin festival — climbing the wall of the wire pen holding hundreds of cats waiting slaughter prior to his rescue.

Huru and his friend, taken from the same slaughterhouse, had collars on when they were found, indicating that they were possibly stolen pets. They are now at the Washington Animal Rescue League, a Humane Society International emergency placement partner in Washington, D.C., and will be put up for adoption.

Join our fight against the brutal dog meat trade in China and across Asia.

Upon arriving at their temporary home at the shelter, both cats immediately made their way up a cat tower and huddled together on the circular platform to fall asleep.

HSI's Dr. Peter Li rescued the two cats when he visited Yulin in the weeks leading up to the dog meat festival that took place June 22. He was there to observe the preparations for the annual mass dog slaughter and engage with local activists. The cats were rescued alongside Little Ricky, a dog named in honor of HSI's celebrity supporter Ricky Gervais, whose social media activism on dog meat helped raise massive international awareness and outrage over the cruelty in Yulin. Little Ricky arrived at WARL in June and has since been adopted by a loving family.

Read more about HSI’s work in Yulin. And please, donate to support our vital efforts.

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Media Contacts:

HSI: Raúl Arce-Contreras, 240-620-3263, rcontreras@humanesociety.org

WARL: Matt Williams, 202-375-7750, matt.williams@warl.org

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