This Golden Retriever cried tears of joy after being rescued from the dog meat trade

We've heard it again and again, but we honestly don't deserve dogs. They're loyal, fun to play with and perfect companions - which all feature among the reasons people find it difficult to think of them being caged up in dog meat factories.

So it should come as something of a relief to anyone who finds that thought troubling - one Golden Retriever's lucky day came when he was rescued from a factory by a group of animal lovers. A group of people raised the 14,450 yuan ($2,310) needed to purchase the dog and around 20 others, sparing them all from the chopping block.

The animal appeared incredibly happy, so much so, it looked like it cried tears of joy over its release. Interestingly, the group was on the hunt at the market in Kunming's Xiaobanqiao Market because of a missing pet. They reportedly were hoping to find the animal and came across all these dogs in small cages.

When they enquired about the pups, they were told that they were being stored before being killed for their meat. Apparently, the marketplace sells to restaurants one kilo of meat for $9.46. 

Obviously, the group didn't want them to go to the butcher and so they forked out enough cash to set them free. The animals were taken to Knming's Dongfang Animal Hospital to be looked over by a veterinarian, and once they were all cleared, they were set up for adoption.

If the Golden Retriever crying wasn't enough for you to get a bit teary yourself, the news that 17 of the rescued animals have found news homes might send you overboard. This isn't the fate for every dog in Asia.

South Korea is another area that uses dogs for their meat and in Pyeongchang, where the Winter Olympics were held, restaurants were asked to stop serving dog based dishes by the government in an effort of hospitality for their guests. The restaurants, however, disregarded the government request to stop serving the food and there was some controversy.

South Koreans are believed to consume about one million dogs a year as a summertime delicacy. The greasy red meat dogs yield is boiled for tenderness, and is believed to increase energy and health.

Activists in the area launched several campaigns to ban dog consumption, with online petitions urging boycotts of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics over the issue and protests in Seoul but not much came of it.

Dog meat in the capital is officially classed as "detestable", but the designation has no legal ramifications. South Korean authorities sporadically try to persuade restaurants to change their menus, or drop signs suggestive of dog meat during international events hosted by the country.

The tradition has declined as the nation increasingly embraces the idea of dogs as pets instead of livestock, like we do in the West. Eating them now is something of a taboo among young South Koreans. Across the country and in the rest of Asia, "gaegogi" and other dog delicacies are eaten mostly by older people and is believed to have strengthening and medicinal properties. The debate for whether it's right to eat dog meat or not still goes on.

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