A vehicle loaded with dogs and headed to a slaughterhouse was stopped by police in China last week, a move that saved the lives of 108 dogs, temporarily.

The driver of the vehicle was arrested in the Hou Village area in Nanjing when he failed to produce the proper documentation needed for moving the dogs, The Nanjinger reported. The truck, supposedly headed towards Hangzhou, was carrying 108 dogs.

Many of the dogs were starving and malnourished and crammed inside tiny wire cages. The size of the dogs suggested they were being moved for their meat.

Nanjing police in the city’s biggest animal rescue center Ping An A Fu, or Peace and Luck in Mandarin, to help. The organization took the dogs to their offices and set up quarantine areas for their care.

Despite the care provided by the rescue center, some dogs ended up dying due to illnesses possibly contracted from being crammed with other dogs in the truck.

The truck’s owner claimed the dogs were his private property and a volunteer from the rescue center said they may have to return them to the owner.

Dog and cat meat is consumed in some Asian countries. China is the world’s largest consumer of dog meat, with Vietnam second with an average of five million dogs slaughtered every year.