September 23, 2023

Bowlingual Dog

Animal Planet Directory

This new animal care facility in Inglewood helps save dogs from around the world – Press Telegram

Fluffy tails wagged all about on Tuesday, June 27, at a new animal care facility called “Rue’s Kennels at LAX.” The facility’s purpose – to help rescue dogs from China and elsewhere.

Rue’s Kennels at LAX isn’t actually at Los Angeles International Airport, but rather an Inglewood facility, 936 W. Hyde Park Blvd. The facility temporarily houses dogs that were rescued before being placed in loving homes across the country — and the pups travel through LAX. Rues Kennels officials call it the nation’s first nonprofit airport animal care facility

Rescuing the dogs is made possible through a-multiple organizations partnership. But the primary collaboration is between China Rescue Dogs and SPCA International.

China Rescue Dogs is a nonprofit that rescues and rehabilitates dogs from China’s meat trade – which includes breeding farms, trucks bound for slaughter and butcher locations – and finds them homes in North America. Since its founding in 2019, the organization has rescued 2,300 dogs, including those that arrived Monday night.

The facility and the flight that brought the first 20 dogs to Los Angeles were made possible through the partnership with SPCA International, a global animal welfare organization; David MacNeil, CEO of WeatherTech; and seven Golden Retriever rescues nationwide.

Rue’s will also rescue dogs from Turkey.

The first batch of rescues came from China’s meat trade. There were 16 golden retrievers, two corgis, one poodle, and one malamute. By the time they arrived, some already had forever homes to go to, while the rest will be in foster homes by Friday morning at the latest, said China Rescue Dogs cofounder Jill Stewart.

“We’re thrilled that Rue’s Kennels chose Inglewood to be their home,” Mayor James Butts said at the facility’s Tuesday grand opening. “And we’re delighted that it’ll be a great source of compassion and pride for our city. Not to mention a great place to work or volunteer.”

Tibetan monks from Long Beach blessed the dogs and the facility at the grand opening, which was a significant moment for Stewart.

“In 2019, I adopted a golden retriever named Meeso. He could not walk and he was born in Shanghai,” she said. “At that time, I decided I’m going to take a leap of faith and unbeknownst to me, the monks north of Shanghai gave Meeso a blessing that whomever took this dog, they blessed him to go on and do amazing things. And to this date, since 2019, I’ve been trying to rescue dogs and save them from the meat industry.”

It is estimated that more than 10,000 dogs are killed and eaten during the 10-day Yulin Meat Festival festival alone, which this year runs from June 21 to June 30. Annually, 10 to 15 million dogs are eaten annually across China, with figures cited as high as 50,000 per day, according to a China Rescue Dogs’ press release.

Every incoming dog receives extensive veterinary health testing, microchipping and other thorough documentation/verification in China before embarking on the 12-hour flight to Los Angeles. Upon arrival, all dogs are thoroughly reinspected and cleared for entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After that, they are takent to Rue’s Kennels at LAX.

Once there, they will either be transported to their forever homes or picked up by their foster family.

Delanie Sinton, from Ranchos Palos Verdes, arrived at Rue’s on Tuesday to pick up Ollie – a golden retriever –  to foster him until he finds a permanent home.

“It’s been kind of our family’s way of giving back. We have another dog at home so they help socialize the animals,” Sinton said. “I know Ollie’s gonna go really quickly because he is such a beautiful, sweet animal; so hopefully he’ll stay with us for a couple of weeks, get acclimated, get over his jetlag  and then we’ll find him his home.”

With a big golden smile, Ollie went off to his temporary home in RPV.

The facility is particularly important because the CDC tightened regulations related to importing dogs in 2021, said Lori Kalef, director of programs at SPCA International.

“It’s very very difficult for rescues to be able to import dogs into the United States, very costly, and there’s a lot of red tape,” she added, “not just in the export country, but in the import country as well.”

Depending on which area of the world the dogs are imported from, it could cost somewhere in the vicinity of $5,000 to $10,000, sometimes even more, Kalef said. That is why multiple partnerships are important to make the rescues possible.

“This facility, which is the first of its kind, is so important to have in the United States,” Kalef said. “Without this sort of facility, more dogs in China would perish, unfortunately.”

China Rescue Dogs accepts donations to pay for the flights and transport costs, immediate and ongoing veterinary care, and more. To donate, visit