Animal activists and members of China Animal Protection Power, a group founded with assistance from Humane Society International, banded together to rescue 375 cats from an illegal slaughterhouse in Tianjin, China.
The slaughterhouse was discovered earlier this month after a tip-off from a cat owner whose pet had disappeared two weeks earlier.
In a press release distributed by Humane Society International, the cats were described as "in a terrible condition, many emaciated and sick, crying out from being crushed together in the cages."
News of the slaughterhouse's operation quickly spread across Chinese social media platforms, and Beijing's Capital Animal Welfare Association began assisting local Tianjin authorities to find the felines new homes.
It is suspected that a large percentage of the cats are stolen pets, and their meat may have been sold in southern China and passed off as mutton or rabbit.