Samoyed rescued from Chinese dog meat trade walks the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival
A samoyed who was rescued from certain death in the Chinese dog meat trade has been snapped at the Cannes Film Festival.
London-based charity No To Dog Meat was founded in 2009, when founder Julia de Cadenet saw for herself the horrors of the trade.
The charity says it was the first to bring the annual June Yulin Dog Meat Festival to the world’s attention, and now holds United Nations Special Consultative status.
Among the many animals the organization has saved is the samoyed Felicity, who was rescued after being strung up by her tail by Chinese butchers. Felicity has now been brought to the UK by the organisation, where she lives with Julia.
And Felicity brought attention to the charity’s mission to end the dog meat trade this week by taking to the red carpet at the French festival, during a special screening of the film Project Silence.
RESCUE: Felicity (pictured) was saved by the charity No To Dog Meat, which is working to end the dog meat trade
RED CARPET: Now the animal is living in London, and helping promote the charity’s mission. Here she is pictured stepping out on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival with Julia de Cadenet
The Cannes Film Festival, which is a long-time supporter of the cause, invited Felicity to the event, where the dog donned a special gown created by No To Dog Meat senior volunteer Michelle Parker.
Michelle, from Rawdon, West Yorkshire, deconstructed a second hand prom gown, thinning out the meters of tulle and satin before adding hundreds of hand stitched tiny sequins to create the dress.
She then created intricate satin roses to decorate the frock.
Michelle said: ‘I loved making the dress and Felicity looked so fabulous in it.
‘She is a very outgoing dog and loves to pose, but the most important thing is that she is comfortable so I spent a lot of time making the dress as light as possible, so that she can wear it happily.
‘The hardest part of making the dress was taking out the boning and repurposing the cups on the front to make the bodice, plus sewing on all the bling which was well worth it.’
When Felicity, who lives in London, arrived at the festival she received her own pass, which gives her access to a range of exclusive parties, screenings and events.
Together with her human companion Julia de Cadenet, who was on the rescue that saved the lucky pup, Felicity received the star treatment.
Julia, founder of No To Dog Meat, hopes that by spreading Felicity’s story, they can raise awareness of the trade – and help bring it to an end.
Julia hopes that telling her story will help educate and inspire people to act in the fight against the dog meat trade.
She said: ‘When we found Felicity she was in a terrible state, but over time and with a lot of love and care her outgoing personality has blossomed.
‘She really is a miracle and loves to show off and meet people, so this really is a perfect moment for her.
‘She deserves it so much and we hope that by telling Felicity’s story, and when people meet her, they will be inspired to join our movement.
‘The dress itself is like a work of art, and a huge thank you to Michelle who has worked so hard to create the gown for this special occasion. No To Dog Meat really is a family, so everyone chips in to help with their specialist skills.’
The festival provided Felicity with her own pass for the event, giving her access to a range of exclusive parties, screenings and events.
No To Dog Meat operates projects in China, Cambodia and the Philippines, where it works with local people who want to make a difference.
It currently cares for more than 750 dogs at its shelters in China.
Michelle said: ‘Anyone who loves dogs is rightly appalled by the cruelty of the dog meat trade, and ever since I found out about it I have been determined to try and help.
‘Of course it is not all about dogs wearing gowns on the Cannes red carpet, but at the charity we always say no action too small.
‘I hope that Felicity’s red carpet moment raises awareness and funds for the charity.’