Horrified animal rights workers found a pedigree dog chained up to a post and being fattened for slaughter by a butcher.
Anna, an Afghan hound, was rescued from a Chinese village by charity NoToDogMeat and taken to its shelter in Nanjing.
Its workers believe Anna was abandoned by her original owner during the pandemic, with the pooch suffering from malnutrition.
However, she is now “looking forward to a happy new life a loving home” after her narrow escape from the meat trade, the charity said.
Julia de Cadenet, CEO of NoToDogMeat, said: “It is a mystery as to how such a fancy pedigree dog ended up in this awful predicament, but it just goes to show that there is no discrimination in some people’s minds when it comes to eating dogs.
“Pets are not food, and finding a dog like Anna must hammer home for people in the UK, that the dogs we rescue and care for are just the same as your dogs at home.
“Our best guess is that Anna’s original owner abandoned her during the pandemic, as so many people have done sadly in China, when false information spread about dogs carrying the virus.
“But she has a happy life ahead of her, and has a home for life with us if she needs one.”
In the UK, Afghan hounds are a popular show dog, and a pedigree puppy would cost an owner up to £1,500.
Earlier this month, a golden retriever was recorded “thanking” a firefighter who pulled it to safety.
The dog was found trapped in a three-metre-deep (9.8ft) well in the cross junction of two highways in the city of Hefei, Anhui province in eastern China on February 16.
Firefighters arrived at the location and used a gas detector to test for any poisonous gas inside the well.
Video shared by the crew on Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, showed a firefighter putting on harness equipment and a gas mask before scaling down a ladder to the bottom of the well.
The golden retriever was covered in muddy water but believed to be unharmed.
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The rescuer then secured the harness on the pooch so that other crew members could lift it up to the ground.
While the firefighters were packing the equipment away, the grateful dog ran around as if it were looking for its rescuer.
The pooch wagged its tails and stayed near the crew member to “thank” him for saving its life.
The firefighter then touched the dog’s head and gives it a pat on the back.