When Los Gatos resident Judy Stanley runs errands, she usually takes her puppy Olive along for the ride. Stanley adopted Olive last December after the red-colored poodle pup was rescued from a Chinese slaughterhouse and flown to Los Angeles with 10 other rescues.

Now, Olive has her own Instagram account, @olivesurvived, that tells her story. “I am a survivor of the China dog meat trade. I was rescued from death,” is how the page opens. The page includes lots of pictures of Olive, including one with the caption, “I am a friend! Not food!”

Stanley thinks Olive is a purebred “red teddy bear poodle.”

“I put her in the shopping cart at the drugstore, and people think she’s a stuffed animal,” Stanley said. “Everybody stops me on the street and asks what kind of dog she is and where I got her.”

Olive was rescued by Marc Ching, who runs the nonprofit Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation in Sherman Oaks.

“A lot of pets are stolen in China for food, but there are also dog farms where they’re bred for slaughter for food, so Marc’s main thing is pet stealing and the brutality of the slaughterhouses–the torture and killing,” Stanley said. “They torture them because they think it makes the meat better and men think it makes them more virile.”

For unknown reasons, Olive did not become food. Instead, she was thrown out with the trash. “Marc found Olive in a plastic trash bag outside a slaughterhouse,” Stanley said. “He heard a cry and saw the bag moving, so he retrieved it. The cry was from Olive; she was bound and tied to her three sibling pups.”

The other pups all died, but Olive spent seven weeks at a vet hospital in China before the Dec. 4 flight to California.

“When I got her she was 4 months old and weighed 4 pounds,” Stanley said. “I immediately took her to the Los Gatos Dog & Cat Hospital, and they told me to feed her three times a day. Now she’s an 8-pound furball.”

That furball follows Stanley everywhere. “She’s very sweet and super social,” Stanley said. “She’s adjusted really well and is taking agility classes twice a week, so she runs a little obstacle course with ramps and tunnels.”

Stanley has two other rescue dogs: Pippers the rat terrier and Roxy, a mix who was adopted from the Petco store on Almaden Expressway in San Jose.

“They’re the best dogs ever, and everyone gets along,” Stanley said. “I try to take Olive with me wherever I go, but I can’t take her to places like the grocery store, so Roxy babysits her.”

Since getting Olive, Stanley has adopted Ching’s mission to save abused dogs at home and rescue others from the Asian meat trade. In fact, she and a filmmaker friend are heading to Los Angeles soon to make a documentary about Ching and his rescue efforts.

They also plan to bring attention to the upcoming Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China, where an estimated 10,000 dogs are slaughtered annually to mark the summer solstice.

Visit animalhopeandwellness.org and facebook.com/thepetstaurant for more information.

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