Nearly 2,000 cats were rescued from being sold at a meat market in China’s  Jiangsu Province. These poor kitties, many of whom were reportedly stolen from their families, were found stacked in crates within a truck that was destined for restaurants. According to a report from People’s Daily Online, if  animal rights activists had not found the cats, they would have been slaughtered to be sold under the guise of rabbit or pork. .

In crates stacked one on top of the other, the cats awaited their grim fate in the back of a truck. The cats were tightly packed with little room to move. Volunteers who found the cats inside the truck alerted the police immediately. Many of the cats had sustained injuries as a result of their capture. Police are currently working to locate and contact the guardians of these animals. Although this experience must have been traumatizing for the captive cats, they’re now in good hands.

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It’s amazing that these cats were found and taken into police care in time. Instead of an unthinkable fate, these kitties will hopefully be reunited with their families.