FRENCHTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — "These dogs were tortured alive by humans," said Melissa Borden who, along with volunteers, runs The Devoted Barn in Frenchtown Township where Borden has worked with about 30 dogs rescued from Thailand's now illegal dog meat market.
The latest survivor of the dog meat market arrived about a week ago. He's a skinny, frightened dog named Prince that is still scared when people get too close, fearing he'll be tortured again.
Borden specializes in rehabilitating feral dogs and animals that have been victims of cruelty,
"He had to live in a tiny crate with 10 to 15 other dogs stacked on top of each other to where they couldn't move," said Borden who also trains workers with the Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand so they are able to help socialize and rehabilitate dogs enough so that rescues from around the world can continue to work with them on the path to what they hope is adoption into caring homes.
Borden uses reward and patience with the dogs, but she's also prepared that, sometimes, time cannot heal the wounds left by abuse. But even those animals will always have a home at The Devoted Barn - a place that is full of support and free of cruelty.
Borden is now raising money to expand The Devoted Barn into two properties. One location would be a sanctuary for animals including survivors of the dog meat trade to live out the rest of their days in a supportive environment. Work to rehabilitate other animals to prepare them for adoption would continue at the other location.
Click on the video to see Prince on his road to recovery and other dogs saved from the meat trade that are now living with their adopted families.