The Golden Rescue from China

Combine 4 Chinese rescues, 10 golden retriever rescues from the U.S., dozens of volunteers, thousands of dollars in donations and the result is 105 dogs rescued from China. Approximately 75 of the dogs were golden retrievers.  Some of the dogs had been family pets. Early on in the pandemic Chinese citizens were instructed to give up their pets. Dogs were filling up the shelters; some were found on the streets. There was a sense of urgency to rescue them before the onset of the cold winter weather. Their lives in China were not assured.

This mission was not for the undetermined. As if there weren’t difficulties in the first place, the COVID virus presented the biggest obstacle as it changed the process from challenging to quite formidable—and that occurred mid-operation!

Pre-COVID, dogs would fly on the same plane as their flight volunteers. Dogs would have to be considered as luggage, but their crate time was less and the process much less costly.

In early summer, a plan was put into place to fly the dogs out of China, and with the generosity of a donated cargo plane, we just needed to cover the expenses of the flight. But due to the falsification of paperwork discovered on another group of dogs being shipped by another party, the Chinese government stopped all shipment of animals during their investigation. This led to our group losing the opportunity with the donated chartered plane. The volunteers handling the logistics of this operation realized they would have to find another way.  Through hard work and perseverance, a shipping company was identified, and we were able to move the dogs using China Air Cargo.

Thanks to the generosity of those who donated, 105 dogs were rescued and will find homes here in the States. We are honored that among all the rescue associations involved, As Good as Gold contributors provided the second largest dollar amount in contributions to this effort.

Donations contributed primarily to the China Air flight fee. The second biggest cost was for the shipping company. The shipping company prepared the dogs for their travels on board the plane. The dogs needed to be boarded with the company a few days before flying. The donations also covered the costs for their crates and water bottles, both of which are specific to airline requirements. The goldens required transportation to the airport, then onto the plane. In addition, donations covered vetting costs before leaving China, legal fees from both countries, export papers and import permits.

The volunteer logistics coordinators were essential and enormously beneficial to this complex mission. They researched and then completed the requirements for Customs, the Center for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Border Control. They also made sure the medical protocols of both countries were adhered to, including vaccinations and health requirements.

This rescue was headed by Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest (RAGOM), China Rescue Dogs – Paws Across the Ocean – A Team of Rescues Working Together.

As Good as Gold rescued seven goldens from China

Tommy – 1 year
Foster mom says Tommy is a very sweet and loving guy who enjoys playing—especially with tennis balls! He likes to sit across from her and watch everything she does. When foster mom scratches his ears or rubs his tummy, Tommy is not shy about touching her with his paw to keep her attention.

Amy – 1 year old
Amy’s foster parents describe her as sweet, affectionate, gentle, and very smart. They say Amy thrives on attention and that any attention is “just the best”! Amy extends the affection to snuggling onto dad’s lap for naps.

Foster mom and dad are really enjoying this petite little girl and admire her energy and ability to learn commands.

 Gina – 3 years old
Gina is a social butterfly and regularly greets people with a big hug! She hasn’t met a person or another dog she doesn’t love. Gina has learned that her gorgeous looks warrant a lot of attention, and she uses this to her advantage to get lots of pets from as many people as possible! She can be playful with her foster family and furry foster siblings but is also content with a chew toy or bone. Gina can become anxious when crated or away from her foster family; her happy place is with her humans! She is an expert cuddler and as sweet as they come.

 David – 1 1/2 years old
Foster dad thinks David is a “smart, sweet, and affectionate boy” who loves people and is very interactive. Despite being terribly underweight, David exhibits lots of energy, even enjoying zoomies on the back lawn with his furry foster siblings. Foster dad has been carefully feeding David four meals each day; since arriving in the U.S., this guy has gained seven pounds. David is settling down nicely, especially since he knows there will be a next meal. His peaceful and accepting environment also brings him comfort. Foster dad states, “I can’t believe he has this personality given his challenging history. I’m so proud of him!”

 Drake – 3 years old
Drake has relaxed a bit since he first arrived from China. Initially he was terrified in his new surroundings, but once he allowed his foster mom to touch him, he didn’t want her to stop. He also liked when she spoke to him in soft tones.

Having furry foster siblings has helped Drake immensely. He warmed up to them quickly and has followed their lead in everything from “outside business,” to play, to eventually taking a treat from a person’s hand. Foster mom says that currently Drake is doing well, “Each day his personality becomes more evident. He is coming out of his shell and is not so shy.” It was nice to find that Drake is gentle with children. This was discovered when he met two children, ages 5 and 11.

He will sometimes nudge foster mom’s hand to remind her that he appreciates being petted. Mom can’t help but add, “He is extremely handsome.”

 Aisha – 1 year old
Aisha is a playful girl! She especially loves balls and always has one on hand. Aisha enjoys lots of exercise, especially with her foster brother, Griffey. Throughout the day, they walk, frolic in the yard, and play fetch together. Aisha brings along her ball when it’s time to snuggle down for the night with Griffey. She’s so content you can actually see the smile on her face.

When Aisha looks up at foster mom and dad with her big, brown eyes, their “hearts melt,” and before you know it, Aisha is on their laps for hugs, pets, and naps. Foster mom says Aisha is sweet and gentle beyond words.

 Happy – 8 years old
Happy lived with a foster family for several weeks and has now been adopted! His new dad says that Happy lives up to his name. He happily plays with his new furry sister and excitedly greets everyone he meets. Happy follows dad around the house, and when he sits down, Happy is right there waiting to get his chin or ears rubbed. His curiosity is at its peak during walk time as he finds that each stick, flowerbed and tree deserves a good long sniff. Happy carries a ball in his mouth in the house, wandering the yard, and during his walks. Happy is certainly living “happily ever after.”

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