Some 600 cats were saved in Putuo district after a man attempted to transport them in small crates from his truck and sell them for fur and meat.
According to a Digital Journal report, a man driving a truck containing several wooden crates filled with cats was parked at Meiling Road on Thursday, raising concern among residents of the area.
The driver was reportedly on his way to sell the cats to an illegal buyer.
Animal rescue groups were called to help through a post on Weibo that gathered thousands of concerned followers. The post included photos of the cats nailed into small wooden crates, and asked for supporters to help confront the driver.
Once rescuers arrived at the site, they took the cats from the protesting man along with the help of onlookers. Police also arrived at the scene and detained him, according to the report.
The truck contained 32 boxes filled with around 19 cats each. Four crates were taken in by PPAR and ThinkAdoption, 14 crates were taken by volunteer adopters and 14 crates were released into various cat-friendly compounds.
These photos show the cats crammed inside of boxes in dismal condition before being rescued, via Philippe:
Animal trafficking continues to be a very serious problem in and across China. Just last week, over 100 endangered pangolins were intercepted before being smuggled into the country from Thailand.