Woman rescues dogs from being eaten at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival

A US woman has rescued a pack of dogs who were set to be killed and eaten at a dog meat festival in China.

North Carolina woman Valerie Curran raised US$20,000 (NZ$29,600) to travel to China and volunteer at an animal shelter.

While she was there, she rescued 25 dogs - seven of which travelled with her back to the US.

"Animals are so important to us. They are on the front lines with our military, they do search and rescue, and there are therapy dogs."

If not for the animal welfare centre where Ms Curran volunteered, those dogs would have been tortured and eaten in the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival.

"They just have a very different outlook on animals. The more they cause pain and suffering, they feel like the better the meat tastes.

"When I learned about that I was determined to get involved and figure out a way to help."

Ms Curran now works with the global animal rescue group No Dogs Left Behind in emergency response and rehoming rescued dogs.

"These dogs are an opportunity to make others aware about the situation going on. So when they walk the streets these dogs are ambassadors and it would be wonderful if those families utilise that."

Three of the dogs she rescued already have new homes.