After Months of Waiting, 27 Pups Saved from the Dog Meat Trade Meet Their Forever Families

Twenty-seven dogs finally got the day they have been waiting for.

According to a No Dogs Left Behind (NDLB) release, the animal rescue group flew 27 canines they helped save from China's dog meat trade to New York on March 8.

Waiting for the pooches on the ground were their new families. The animal lovers applied to adopt the pooches months ago sight unseen but had to wait to officially meet the dogs due to travel delays caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone — dogs included — was all smiles at the John F. Kennedy International Airport on Monday, as the canines united with their families and started the first, joy-filled moments of their lives in the U.S.

This is the kind of happy ending Jeff Beri radically changed his life for.

"In 2016, I hung up my suit and tie and went to China and never looked back," Beri, NDLB's founder and president, told PEOPLE about his nonprofit.

"At No Dogs Left Behind, our mission is to end the reckless slaughtering of animals by ending the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, illegal dog trafficking, and the dog meat trade," he added. "Our mission goes beyond this, though, and extends beyond borders by advocating for the creation and enforcement of global animal welfare laws and raising awareness for a cruelty-free, sustainable world in which no animal is violated, exploited, tortured, or slaughtered for commercial goods or profit."

Including these 27 newly transported dogs, NDLB has rescued and adopted out 256 dog meat trade survivors already this year — and they don't plan on slowing down soon.

NDLB is currently working to raise enough money to save more canines from the dog meat trade, including covering the animals' vet fees and transportation costs.

"Funding is really key to evacuate the survivors that are there so we could save more lives," Beri said in a statement. 

To learn more about NDLB and the dogs they currently have available for adoption, visit their website.

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