By Lesley Scott, Founder
Back in November 2014, whilst pottering in my kitchen, I caught a video on my phone. It featured Ricky Gervais,
Dame Judy Dench and other celebrities and showed the horrors of the Dog Meat Trade in Thailand. Like them I had been unaware of this barbaric practice and the video rocked me to my very core. I literally broke down in floods of tears.
3 months later I hopped on a plane to Thailand to volunteer at a rescue facility caring for Dog Meat Trade survivors. I
found the whole experience extremely humbling and also rewarding watching these damaged dogs begin to trust people again. I made some fantastic like-minded friends who educated me in wider animal welfare issues and really opened my
eyes to some of the animal exploitation that I had maybe found easier to ignore.
I returned to Thailand in 2016 and 2017. Along the way I did various fundraising activities but somehow it never felt enough.
When Dog Meat was banned in Thailand in 2016 I decided to take the nextstep and volunteer in China.
I went through the process of applying for a visa and having rabies vaccinations and off I went to
volunteer at an American-run shelter on the outskirts of Beijing. By God did I have my eyes opened but did I also feel that I had made a small difference? Definitely!
I decided to return to China the following year but this time to a shelter in Northern China.
While I was there something happened that was to change my life forever. I spotted Grace - a gorgeous longhaired
shaded cream dachshund who had been sold into the meat trade along with her 2 six week old puppies. Unfortunately the puppies didn’t make it, but they at least knew love at the end.
When I retuned home this time I was a flight volunteer which meant I could bring my beautiful girl home with me and also act as chaperone for 3 other rescue dogs.
As pet ownership grows in China, so does the demand for small dogs. This in turn has resulted in puppy breeding facilities expanding across the country. When the dogs are no longer of use, they are sold into the dog meat trade. Although Dachshunds are not widely found in the Dog Meat Trade there are some and I knew I wanted to do something about it.
I am a project manager by day and I used to spend a lot of time on the road. However, when the pandemic hit it gave me the time to start thinking about taking my rescue work a step further.
And hence the ‘Dog Meat Trade Dachshund Support Group’ was born on Facebook on May 12th 2020 and since then it has grown beyond my wildest expectations.
So far we have rescued 56 dachshunds, 27 of which are already in their forever homes and the other 29 are safe, well cared for and awaiting travel to the UK.
I now have a team of 10 amazing ladies working alongside me, all with a shared love of dachshunds and the common aim of rescuing as many as we can from the dog meat trade. Most of them also have ‘day jobs’ but they
still find the time to raise awareness of our group and cause, manage our fundraising and ensure transparency of our finances.
They organise adoption exercises and build a network of foster homes. They are in daily contact with our vets and rescue/boarding facilities both in China and South Korea and are building links with other rescue groups including UK ones.
In September 2021 we became a registered Scottish charity.
Our group has really achieved great things so far - in part because Dachshunds are very popular at the moment
and so, so easy to fall in love with. I understand this and it was always my intention to try to help other breeds of dogs too so now we are working in partnership with other organisations and regularly funding the transport of the other dogs travelling
with our little ones to help bring them home too.
Meet The Team
Lesley - Founder/Chair/Rescue/Adoptions/Finance
Julie - Trustee/Fundraising
Tammy - Trustee/Adoptions and Fostering
Terri - Trustee/Social Media
Kerri - Treasurer (Finance)
Rai - Vice Chair/Trustee/Transport/Governance
Sally - Fundraising
Judith - Transport/Adoptions and Fostering
Leanne - Adoptions and Fostering/Post Adoption Caseworker
Carly - Finance
Charlie- Etsy & Merchandise