On Sunday, three months of planning came to an end as a parade of golden retrievers descended upon Lilac Street Dog Park in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
These weren’t just any goldens. While some were just being rehomed, others were plucked from cages and saved from certain death, rescued from the meat trade in China before being flown to Vancouver, then Seattle and then driven to Florida.
These dogs were able to find new, loving homes thanks to the work of Golden Rescue South Florida, which has already saved around 84 goldens from China over the past six months, according to WPEC-TV.
As you might imagine, orchestrating and pulling off such a huge rescue effort is costly in both time and money, and in one Facebook post, the rescue said it costs $2,600 to $2,800 per dog to get the pups fully vetted and stateside.
“While our Mission has always been to rescue Goldens from South Florida and Puerto Rico, Golden Rescue South Florida expanded their Mission to include the rescue of 20 Goldens from China in December, 2020,” the organization’s website states.
“Based on the horrendous conditions these dogs face in China, we plan to continue our efforts in 2021.”
“Our story and our success spread ‘far and wide,’” the group explains on a page dedicated to its rescue of dogs from China. “And we got amazing donations from everywhere. That almost got us ‘caught up’. But now, conditions in China are becoming more dire.
“It’s winter and the dogs in the shelter are not kept in warm places. And the dogs they find abandoned on the streets or pulled last minute from trucks going to meat markets are suffering.”
“There are stories of beaten Goldens, and females ‘thrown out’ when they can no longer be bred. The cruelty and neglect is beyond bearable.”
Expectant adopters have been waiting months for their designated pooches to make it to their very positive final destination, offering lives of comfort to the 20 goldens that ranged in age from 1 year old to 8 years old.
“You just know that you are giving them such a much better life and a much better experience than they would have had,” Tracey Griffis, who was at Lilac Street Dog Park, told WPTV-TV.
“Their lives change 180 degrees from being tortured and horrifyingly treated and abandoned and abused and neglected to being loved and adored,” Lisa Hodgson, vice president of Golden Rescue South Florida, added.
Attendees of the adoption event cheered as the vehicle carrying the dogs pulled up, and it was a joyful day for many as the Sunshine State got just a little more golden.