In 2018, Freya was headed for a market in Yulin, China, where the meat festival is celebrated every June. That would have ended Freya and some 300 other animals’ lives until local activists intervened and rescued them while they were in Changzhi City. Since then, Freya’s life made a beautiful turn.
Like the other dogs on board, Freya was in such a poor condition. However, with the help of the Slaughter House Survivors that took Freya in together with the other animals, her health eventually improved. SHS is a charity from Harbin that cares for rescue animals that are bound for the meat market.
One of the Harbin SHS co-founders, Emily, recalled how Freya sported a huge wound on her head when they first met her. Freya, who they named Ariel before she was rehomed, was clearly beaten before she was rescued.
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Warning ⚠️ 3rd picture is graphic. Freya ❤️. This girl was heading to yulin nearly two years ago. Destined to be slaughtered and eaten. Now she’s a service dog In California! She was able to get medical attention to her owner twice and saved her life. That is amazing! I’m going to share her story with as many people in China as I can. Look at you go girl @ssu.freya . You rockstar 💞
According to Emily, most of the dogs were sick, dying, or had life-threatening injuries. Understandably, because of the abuse that they had been through, they were wary of human contact. However, Freya was not. She came straight up to the rescuers while wagging her tail and wearing a big grin.
Freya’s wound must have been excruciatingly painful, but she never lashed out. She allowed her rescuers to clean her wound and treat it every day. In return, she gave them all her love.
Many of the dogs did not make it due to their severe health condition. Freya was one of those who, thankfully, survived. As the rescue animals got better, their personalities started to shine too. The soon staff realized that Freya came from a home that beat and trained her to do some tricks.
Emily said that “begging,” where the animal stands on hind legs and “begs” using front paws, is a common dog trick in China. Whenever the staff walks past Freya’s kennel, she would gesture it while wearing her big smile. However, she would drop to the ground and wet herself if they move too close to her.
Eventually, with the help of Jelly’s Place, a partner organization of SHS, Freya flew to California and got rehomed. Now, Freya is a certified Cardiac Alert and PTSD Alert dog. She can detect extreme stress and heart attacks and has even recently saved her human twice.
Despite how humans mistreated her in the past, Freya still has so much love to give and save peoples’ lives. She now has someone by her side who would never lay a finger on her too. Emily noted that Freya is proof that humans still have so much to learn.