Animal rights, charitable organizations and a black Mercedes-Benz... not things you might associate with China, but that was then and this is now. Traffic was proceeding normally along the Beijing to Harbin highway when a black Mercedes forced a truck to pull over. The driver of the Benz then confronted the truck driver, accusing him of transporting stolen dogs.
It's not known how many of the over 500 (!) dogs packed into cages aboard the truck were alleged to be stolen. Perhaps none were: police later stated that the truck driver's transport license, quarantine certificate and other documentation were all in order. By that time, however, China's powerful social media machine had swung into action on behalf of ALL of the dogs on the truck.
Within hours, more than 300 people alerted by the driver of the black Mercedes via phone, text and email had descended upon the scene, many bringing water for the many dogs who were suffering from dehydration. The driver of the truck admitted that he was taking the dogs to the northern city of Jinlin Changchun, where the dogs were to be slaughtered and their meat sold to local restaurants.
All this information along with images of the dogs was steadily being broadcast in real time to a growing number of interested parties via the QQ and Sina micro-blogs.
A number of celebrities got involved, raising the incident's profile even further. End result: more than 15 hours after the incident began, two charity foundations had paid 115,000 yuan (about $17,606) to buy every single dog on the truck!
One of the animal welfare organizations involved in this dramatic intervention, ChinaPet.com, is currently in the process of matching up the rescued dogs with kind and caring new owners. China's social media machine is once again facilitating the process, as ChinaPet.com's website showcases the remaining dogs and lists their pertinent info. It's a rare happy ending to a potentially sad story, and to think it all started with one person in a black Mercedes-Benz who decided to make a difference - and did! (via ChinaHush and ChinaPet)