Carrie Fisher’s final protest was against China’s dog meat festival, with her beloved pet Gary at her side

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Actress Carrie Fisher, who starred as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, died on Dec. 27 following a heart attack. The 60-year-old’s French bulldog Gary was at her side in her last days. He also accompanied Fisher at a protest against China’s dog meat festival.

In June, Fisher, along with Gary, joined a protest against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival outside the Chinese embassy in London. Fisher and others tried to present a petition signed by over 11 million people demanding a ban on the annual event held in the southern Chinese city of Yulin, but was rejected.

U.S. actress Carrie Fisher, with her dog Gary, poses for photographs as she takes part in a campaign event to hand a petition against China's Yulin dog meat festival to the Chinese Embassy in London, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Animal rights activists are seeking to shut down an annual summer dog meat festival in southern China blamed for blackening the country's international reputation as well as fueling extreme cruelty to canines and unhygienic food handling practices.
Fisher at the protest against China’s Yulin dog meat festival in London in June. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

“There is so much animal suffering in the world, and much of it you feel helpless to end, but stopping the Yulin dog meat festival and ending all that suffering is easy,” Fisher was quoted as saying. “All the Chinese authorities need to do is declare it shut down, and the killing stops.”

“These poor dogs need us to fight for them. Every single one of them is as precious as my dear Gary, every one of them is someone’s best friend,” she went on to say.

Fisher adopted Gary as a therapy dog to help manage her bipolar disorder, which she openly discussed and had written about. In 2013, when Gary was one year old, Fisher told the Herald Tribune, “Gary is like my heart. Gary is very devoted to me, and that calms me down. He’s anxious when he’s away from me.”