WATCH Taking on 'cruel' Chinese dog eating festival
MOST people wouldn't make it a priority to learn 'please let me out of jail' when beginning a new language, but for one local woman it was the first sentence of Mandarin she learnt.
Leesa McGill hopes to travel to China next year where she plans to protest the annual Yulin dog meat festival.
Between 10,000 and 15,000 dogs are rounded up from across China and killed for the festival each year.
"I'm not going over there to tell people to stop eating dogs and cats, that's up to them, but what I'm against are the cruel methods they use to kill the animals," Leesa said.
Some of the methods used by cooks at the festival included burning, blowtorching and boiling dogs alive, she said.
Leesa is looking forward to hooking up with local Chinese animal welfare groups to help out and donate money raised through her online jewelry business Respect.Life.
"Everybody says one person can't change the world but we've got to start somewhere and I can be that one person," she said.