Golden retrievers rescued from Chinese dog meat market land in Vegas

Sassy and Bella are happily spending time together before arriving at their forever homes (FOX5).

Two golden retrievers rescued from the Chinese meat market have landed in Las Vegas and are getting ready to live in their forever homes.

"Sassy" and "Bella" lived in cages and crates their whole lives, sleeping in their own filth. Now they are learning new things, like how to catch a ball and how to eat out of a bowl. If you took a look at them today, you would never know that they were unhappy.

Cathy Roper and her husband Rich Roper said they have rescued golden retrievers before, but never one that was going to be eaten.

"We just started falling in love immediately," she said. "It just breaks my heart, and of course, we here in the United States, we can't fathom something like that."

Sheila Oliveira, the founder of Goldens Without Borders, helped set up the rescue in conjunction with the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation . She cried talking about the emotions she goes through watching the way these animals are treated in countries that slaughter dogs for meat.

"A lot of parasites. A lot of infections," she said. "As difficult as it sounds, (farmers) believe that the meat is at its prime at 10-11 months old."

The two dogs landed in the United States on September 11, 2017. Even though they look well adjusted, their ribs still are still visible through their skin.

"She's very lightweight right now. (Sassy) only weighs 34 pounds," Cathy Roper said. "They just feed them garbage."

"We'll fatten these ones up," Oliveira said. "The good old American way!"

If you would like to adopt or foster a golden retriever, you can visit

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