HEMPSTEAD, Long Island (PIX11) — A quirky dog that was rescued from the China meat trade has been looking for a new home for four years.

The 6-year-old pup, named Ribbon, was dropped off at the Hempstead Animal Shelter in 2019 after the owner had trouble managing the dog’s behavioral issues, according to Ashley Behrens, acting director of the shelter.

Dogs that survive the meat trade are not domesticated and have trouble trusting and socializing, but Ribbon has made some progress at the shelter, she said. He has learned some tricks, like sitting and giving his paw, and lets people pet him.

“He’s a little quirky. He wants attention and other times he wants to be left alone. He’s like a cat sometimes,” Behrens said.

Ribbon, who is believed to be a retriever mix, was previously adopted twice only to be returned because he had bitten someone in each case. The incidents weren’t severe but the owners got nervous and took him back to the shelter.

“He’s definitely a dog that needs training. Meat trade dogs need patience and commitment. They’re not typical dogs,” Behrens said. “They were never given any love or attention.”

In several Asian countries, dogs and cats are either stolen from their owners or snatched off the street before they are slaughtered for their meat, according to the Humane Society. The organization said about 30 million dogs are killed annually.

In some shelters, dogs with behavioral issues are often euthanized, but Behrens said the shelter is committed to not putting the animals down.

For more information about Ribbon, call the shelter at (516) 785-5220 or email adoption@hempstead.ny.gov or rescue@hempstead.ny.gov.