It is around two in the morning. We enter the market accompanied by a local activist and try to keep the security guards from noticing us. Westerners draw a lot of attention in all the places we go to. At the entrance there is a sign forbidding the use of cameras. The three of us are carrying hidden cameras on us and we are determined to film how the dogs and cats are unloaded from the trucks transporting them. Each night various large trucks arrive at the market carrying hundreds of dogs and cats from other regions of China. Some of these animals have travelled for more than 24 hours across thousands of kilometers, afraid and with nothing to eat or drink. The market employees crowd around one of the trucks and we stand among them naturally. We smile and we even say a few words in Chinese. The employees are in a hurry so they ignore us and let us watch them work.
There is a moment one of us is able to enter the kennel the dogs are in and records the unloading of the animals from the inside. The animals are forcefully thrown and, despite their injuries and the poor state they are in, none of them bark. We suppose this is because of the fear and, perhaps, they might have had their vocal cords cut. We have the images we wanted to record.
After half an hour security guards appear and harass us. They want to know if we have cameras on us. Our local contact talks to them while we ignore them and try to act normal. These are some very tense moments since we are completely surrounded by these people. They make a lot of money from this business and they know there are people, like us, that are trying to put an end to all of it. Maybe they are wondering if we are not that type at that very moment. We decide to leave before the situation becomes even more complicated.