Two hundred dogs that were destined for the dinner table now have bright futures thanks to an epic rescue by Humane Society International.
In a large-scale rescue that began on Jan. 9, HSI transported 200 dogs saved from a South Korean dog meat farm in Wonju, South Korea, to the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. This is the sixth dog meat farm closure managed by the animal welfare organization, with a whopping 770 dogs rescued since January 2015 as part of the campaign to end the dog meat trade in South Korea and across Asia, a press release says.
Dogs of all breeds, who once called filthy, cramped cages home — as you can see from the rescue video here — are currently being taken to animal shelters participating in the Emergency Placement Partner Program, where they will be one step closer to loving homes. (To see a list of shelters that are caring for the dogs, scroll to the bottom of this link.)
According to HSI, this particular dog meat operation is located in Gangwon province, the site of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and the organization is calling on the government to support a phase-out of the dog meat trade ahead of the event, since it will draw worldwide attention.
“With the Winter Olympics just over a year away, now is the time for the Korean government to act to end the dog meat trade and let the world focus on the country’s preparations for a great sporting event, rather than on the terrible cruelty of being raised on farms for a product few Koreans consume,” said Adam Parascandola, director of animal protection and crisis response for HSI. “These rescued dogs will soon experience the compassion and care of humans that is not afforded to them at these farms. They will serve as ambassadors for the millions of others still suffering on dog meat farms in South Korea.”
Interestingly, HSI says that many people who run dog meat operations are eager to leave the trade for new lines of work — like the owner of this farm who approached the group at a family member’s urging. A “government-led phase-out of farming and consumption” is what HSI says needs to happen in order to end the trade completely.
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