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China volunteers rescue 900 dogs in cramped truck

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BEIJING (AP) — The head of an animal rescue center in China said Sunday that volunteers have rescued about 900 dogs that were being transported in poor conditions in a truck.

Chen Mingcai of the Chongqing Small Animal Protection Association said that a travelling citizen became suspicious of the truck and called police, who detained the truck driver on Friday night.

Chen said he was later contacted by a netizen who had seen a photo of the dogs left in the truck on the entrance of an expressway in southwestern Chongqing city.

He said that by Saturday afternoon volunteers from the animal center and other animal lovers who had seen postings about the dogs on social media had arrived at the truck wanting to help the dogs. Chen says three people were injured in clashes with suspected dog sellers who had also turned up.

Volunteers said the truck was on its way to Guangdong province in southern China, where dog meat is often served in restaurants.

Chen said the dogs were weak, two had died in the truck that had travelled from neighboring Sichuan province and some had given birth to puppies. He said many dogs looked like they were pet dogs and that one dog owner had found his lost dog on the truck.

The dogs are now being taken care of by about 40-50 volunteers in Anwen town. Chen said they were waiting for local authorities to carry out checks on the dogs and he wasn't sure what would happen to the dogs now.

A man who refused to give his name from Anwen Town Police sub-station confirmed that the dogs were now in Anwen but had no other details.

Calls to Qijiang county police department rang unanswered.

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