It took six months of careful planning and fundraising before rescuers could embark on the complex mission.
But a group of animal lovers were determined to save the 20 Golden Retrievers from being slaughtered for China's meat trade.
Life or death mission
Working alongside several animal charities and rescue groups, Golden Rescue South Florida gathered a team of 17 volunteers to plan and organise the mammoth mission. Alongside planning the dogs' rescue, the volunteers interviewed prospective owners to match the dogs with the right homes. As some of the dogs may have suffered abuse and neglect, the volunteers needed to be sure the new owners knew what they were taking on.
Once rescuers had removed the Golden Retrievers, the pups were put in crates to travel the 7,800 miles to start their brand new life in America. The cost of transporting each dog cost more than $2,600.
Once the dogs arrived, they were finally able to meet their carefully selected families. Meanwhile, the rescuers could only watch on in tears. They knew all too well that if they hadn't been able to rescue these dogs, they would have been slaughtered for their meat.
The volunteers gave each dog a thorough check-up, some snacks and a quick bath to make sure they were ready to go to their new homes.
The dogs had been through a horrendous experience. Some of the poor pups didn't even know how to act like a dog. Each dog will need a lot of patience and training and of course, love and affection. But thankfully, each dog can now look forward to the happy life they deserve.