A Response To The False & Grossly Misleading Story By George Knowles of The Daily Mail

(aka Simon Parry of Red Door News)

 

Re: The Mail on Sunday; November 27, 2016 Story

Due to multiple factual errors in Knowles’ story, the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation offers the following corrections.

Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation provided a journalist, who identified himself as Simon Parry, with bank records and other evidence to counter claims made by the primary source in the article. However, Knowles disregarded the documentation.

He also failed to contact other supplied sources who are participants in the post-rescue care of the dogs. Such malfeasance resulted in an unfair, unverified, one-sided story vilifying Marc Ching and the organization he founded presenting damaging unsubstantiated information as fact.

Legal action was being pursued with Jeffrey Beri, the main source of The Daily Mail Article, over missing finances prior to this story being written and thus he cannot be considered an impartial or reliable source.

Statement: “Many of the dogs died after being locked in cages and denied basic treatment and injections that might have saved them.”

This is false. Dogs died because they were extremely sick, and infected with Distemper, not because they were denied care. With dogs that sick, no magic injection is going to save their lives.
As with every rescue we have undertaken, the severity of the injuries often means a low success rate and high mortality rate. Dogs who are dismembered or skinned alive simply can not survive, regardless of how incredible local veterinarians are. This is also the case with animals whose illnesses and infections are beyond being successfully treated.

Statement: “Volunteers were left behind desperately trying to save the dogs’ lives, while Ching flew back to the US after the rescue suffering from depression.”

Volunteers were not left behind. Those who stayed did so by choice. Volunteers were aware Marc could only stay a few days after the festival because of responsibilities at home.
Furthermore, we rescue dogs all over the world. Our protocol has always been to hire and pay people to help care for the dogs, while they wait to come to the United States.

Statement: “Up to two-thirds of the dogs are now believed to be dead, with the British head of an animal charity involved in dealing with the pitiful aftermath saying: ‘Those poor dogs just went from one hell to another.’”

This is false. To our knowledge roughly 700 dogs have survived and those who died were incredibly ill to start with. AHWF did everything it could to help those animals recover.

Statement: “Questions have been raised over shock videos used in the celebrity fundraising appeal of dogs being tortured, burned and boiled alive.”

We agree some of the acts documented by Marc are shocking, but this statement implies that they are doctored or staged. Which is completely false. A search of Tomohon market on YouTube will show that others, such as Tony z.top https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oTe5sYfY4E, have filmed equally shocking footage at this market as well. Ironically the Tomohon market, where the journalist questions the validity of Marc’s footage, has actually been covered by The Daily Mail in September last year as an “exclusive”: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3243481/Knocked-club-blowtorched-ALIVE-hundreds-thousands-dogs-cats-cruelly-slaughtered-meat-Indonesian-markets.html.

Statement: “Only a few dozen of the 1,000 dogs made it to new homes overseas, and two international charities, including British-run Soi Dog, are paying for the majority of the dogs still alive to be taken out of China.”

This is false. Soi Dog is covering the costs for an estimated 70 dogs to come to the U.S. These are the 70 dogs that Jeff Beri refused to release back to the foundation after they asked him to leave because of misconduct at their shelter in China. The foundation has been flying dogs back to the U.S. as quickly as possible and will be covering the cost of those dogs.
Not only do these dogs need a clean bill of health to travel safely and comfortably, there is complex bureaucracy involved in getting them out of China. Unfortunately these two factors mean it can take time to arrange their papers and travel.

Statement: “The volunteers responded to Ching’s Facebook appeal for help in what he told them would be a ‘historic’ mission to shut down slaughterhouses by paying owners and then rescuing 1,000 dogs from certain death.”

This is false. Marc never made any statement that he intended to rescue 1000 dogs. His plan was to shut down slaughterhouses that supply dogs for the festival. When he arrived he realized that slaughterhouses had stockpiled dogs before the festival. This is what motivated him to act.

Statement: “A further 700 went to Buddhist sanctuaries after Ching struck a deal with monks to buy the dogs between them.”

This was a joint rescue effort in partnership with the Buddhist Monks, something overlooked by The Daily Mail journalist who has not spoken with those Monks or sought to verify this information.

Statement: “Within days, dogs with disease and distemper began dying en masse in their cages at one of the Buddhist sanctuaries where – unknown to Ching – religious beliefs dictate that animals are denied any treatment and instead nature is allowed to take its course.”

It is false to say the monks provided no care. Monks kept the dogs comfortable, and provided food and water. The foundation paid veterinarians to provide medical care including vaccinations.

Statement: “The chaos worsened after Ching flew back to the US and then cut off funding to the Nanning shelter after a spectacular falling out with businessman Jeffrey Beri, the man leading his volunteer team in China.”

This is false. As our spokespeople told the reporter repeatedly, the foundation never “cut off funding” to the dogs. They cut off the funding to Beri who incurred suspiciously high expenses – nearly $150,000 U.S. dollars was sent to his personal account – so in August, the foundation started sending money directly to the vets, workers and for any other bill that needed to be paid. The dogs were always financially provided for, and still are.
The dispute between Beri and the foundation began once they asked him to account for all the spending.

Statement: “Incredibly, Ching admits hiring men described by others as local thugs to break into the Nanning shelter at night and snatch more than 100 dogs – some already lined up with adoptive homes overseas – to take to a shelter run by his supporters 500 miles away in Changsha.”

Marc did not say this. Knowles refers to two local employees, Wang and Suki, who helped to get dogs out of the facility when the foundation asked Beri to leave. Wang and Suki are far from thugs.

Because Beri refused to leave, Wang and Suki began removing dogs from the facility. They were unable to free them all because they were stopped by Jeff’s partner, Lia, who became hysterical and threatened to call the police. The foundation was extremely worried about the dogs left behind. Because of Beri’s animosity, the foundation was concerned that Beri would mistreat them.

Statement: “Ching accused Beri of misusing funds and sexually harassing staff. Beri, who denies the allegations, says he has since spent £50,000 of his own money to stay in China to care for the surviving dogs and find them homes overseas.”

As the story itself states, Soi Dog is paying for the 70 dogs in Beri’s care to fly back to the U.S.

Statement: “Beri said: ‘The only reason I am here is to save as many of the remaining dogs that I can. When this is over, I would like a complete audit of what has been donated to and spent by [Ching’s] charity.’”

Ironically, the foundation asked to see Beri’s records of where donor money went. He has yet to produce any. This is why the foundation is filing suit against him..

Statement: “The Humane Society International has meanwhile taken in 120 dogs and is funding their export to new homes overseas.”

HSI’s Peter Li told an AHWF representative that HSI was only adopting out locally at no charge to adopters.

Statement: “‘We thought the rescued dogs were all going to a safe house in Nanning,’ she said. ‘Instead, 700 of them ended up at Buddhist sanctuaries and most died because they didn’t get the care they needed.”

This is false. Volunteers were never told this. Because the safe house in Nanning could only accommodate 100 or so dogs. AHWF was lucky to be able to find 2 other locations so that they could being 300 dogs to Nanning.

Statement: “‘If they had been left in the slaughterhouses to be hit on the head and killed, it would have been better than the suffering they went through.’”

It is unconscionable to say that being slaughtered and butchered is preferable to being saved, cared for, and given love. These dogs at least knew their lives mattered and that people were out there fighting for them.

Statement: “Sarah said she and other volunteers were also ordered to leave 100 rescued dogs in their cages in Nanning from 7am until 4pm in sweltering conditions so that Ching could be photographed with the animals.”

This is false. Because of the sheer number of dogs and the difficulty maintaining organization, we did have some dogs in cages while new, larger cages were being set up. This anonymous source refers to being photographed, but what she failed to mention is that these professional journalists from Hong Kong also came to help and volunteer for AHWF. They did do a brief interview about the rescue, but it was not nine hours long.

Statement: “Ching ordered Sarah and other volunteers to leave on June 23 but she refused and decided to stay on to care for the desperately ill dogs.”

This is false. Marc did not order anyone to leave.

If this “anonymous source” is the same volunteer who stayed on an extra few weeks, it was because the foundation actually asked her to. The foundation offered to pay to change her flight and cover hotel costs. She stayed, but did not ask to be reimbursed. There is correspondence between her and the foundation’s Executive Director that verifies this. It is unfortunate if any misunderstanding over reimbursement has caused her to feel antagonistically toward the foundation.

Statement: “She believes between up to 700 of the 1,000 dogs originally rescued are now dead. Beri estimates around two-thirds died.”

These numbers are wrong. An estimated 700 dogs have actually SURVIVED.

Statement: “Sarah said: ‘Marc wanted everyone out so the dogs could disappear and die…I was led to believe we were going to rescue the dogs, give them proper medical care and place them in homes. I didn’t know we were going there to pull them out of the slaughterhouse then just dump them.’”

This is false. No dogs were “dumped.” The foundation has cared for these dogs for three months and is still caring for them. All dogs received veterinary care, as the bills prove. To date, the foundation has spent more than $100,000 just on medical care alone.

Statement: “Concerns over Ching’s tactics surfaced three months before the Yulin rescue when he visited the Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket, Thailand, and took a dog with severed paws for adoption in the US. He later claimed on his website he had rescued the animal from the dog meat trade.”

The foundation’s website did have incorrect information about this dog, an unfortunate mistake that was corrected as soon as it was pointed out. Emails to and from John Dalley of Soi Dog verify the source of the mistake and that it was fixed immediately. This dog’s injuries were consistent with other dogs rescued from the dog meat trade, so it should be considered an understandable mistake.
The foundation, and Marc personally, have always credited Soi Dog for saving these dogs. Marc remains an admirer of Soi Dog’s work.

Statement: “Dalley said: ‘In one in Indonesia you can see at the beginning a guy puts his thumbs up to him [Ching] as if to say, “Are you ready?” At the end the guy is turning around as if to say, “Was that OK?” ‘I don’t understand how anyone who professes to be in animal welfare can film that sort of thing without intervening. He could have saved those dogs.’”

The implication that any videos are staged is false and quite offensive. No one can deny that gruesome torture of animals takes place at Indonesia’s Tomohon market. There are multiple other stories and videos, some by tourists, showing the same acts of cruelty there.

Any animal lover would find it difficult to witness these acts, but one reason Marc has been unusually successful is that he works undercover, posing as a dog meat buyer. Undercover investigators must maintain their composure in order to document and expose the cruelty. After touring a slaughterhouse, Marc then asks to take some of the animals – pretending that he wants to slaughter them himself – which is how he is able to save the dogs he has. It is hurtful that Dalley does not understand how effective this tactic is, and how much it has contributed to awareness worldwide.

Statement: “He admitted he ‘didn’t know the philosophy of the Buddhist monks’ and hadn’t realised the dogs sent to them would be left to die.”

This is false. The monks did not leave the dogs to die. They took care of them according to their beliefs, provided shelter, food, water, and kindness. As previously mentioned, the onus was on the foundation to provide veterinary care and cover those costs.

Statement: Peter Li, China policy specialist of the Humane Society International, said: ‘We don’t believe buying dogs is the right approach, especially buying dogs at the festival and in great numbers. It encourages the trade. I hope what happened at Yulin this year will not happen again.’”

Li himself planned to help “buy” dogs along with AHWF, but was followed by the police, so was unable to complete the mission with us. Despite some of the unkind and inaccurate statements made by HSI spokespeople to the press, the foundation appreciates that HSI was able to take 120 dogs. HSI has been able to use these dogs to fundraise for their own work, so it appears to have been worthwhile for their organization as well.

The Heart of Rescue

The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused solely on rescuing abused dogs and dogs from the meat trade throughout Asia. We rescue them, provide full rehabilitation services, and then work to find them perfect homes.

Founder Marc Ching | Dog Meat Trade | Get Involved | Make a Donation

Exposing the Dog Meat Trade

Due to a widely held belief that high adrenaline levels will produce tender meat and increase the supposed health benefits – dogs are sadistically made to experience extreme fear and suffering prior to death.

They are tortured, dismembered, burned alive, electrocuted, crucified and nail gunned into walls, where they are tortured and kept alive to endure intolerable pain for sometimes up to 40 hours.

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