WASHINGTON — You wouldn’t know it by his cheerful demeanor, but this small, black and white dog was nearly killed in China.

“Little Ricky” arrived in D.C. Friday after the long trip from Yulin, China, where about 10,000 dogs are killed every year for a dog meat festival during the summer solstice.

“Our prime purpose there really is to bring the world’s attention to this festival that goes on every year, because there’s incredible brutality and cruelty that occurs in the way the dogs are killed, the way they’re transported,” says the Humane Society’s Adam Parascandola.

A Humane Society worker saved Little Ricky along with another dog and two cats.

He’s now at the Washington Animal Rescue League, where he’ll soon be up for adoption.

Parascandola says the dog’s new name is a tribute to actor and comedian Ricky Gervais, who has raised awareness about the Chinese dog meat trade in the past.

“We hope that Little Ricky, bringing him here to the Washington Animal Rescue League will help to bring attention to the plight of the rest of the dogs in China,” he says.

WARL’s website will be updated once Little Ricky is available for adoption in about a week.

WNEW’s Cameron Thompson contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.