The dogs are now living in foster homes in the U.K. while they wait for their forever families

By Kelli Bender
December 02, 2019 04:12 PM
Jean Chung for HSi

Things have gone from scary to cheery for six dogs.

The canines — Spaniel mix Maisie, Boston terrier Winston, and Jindo mixes Pumpkin, Oscar, Bella and Molly — were among a group of more than 90 dogs rescued by Humane Society International from a dog meat farm in the Gyeonggi-do province of South Korea.

Along with saving the dogs, HSI also closed down the facility. This was the animal welfare organization’s 15th dog meat farm shutdown. After the closure, the charity helped the former dog meat farmer transition to a new life.

“There are thousands of dog farms across South Korea supplying live dogs to slaughterhouses, markets and restaurants for human consumption, but the trade has been in decline over the past several years as attitudes and appetites are changing. As a result, many dog meat farmers are increasingly eager to exit the trade and approach HSI for help,” HSI said in a statement about their dog meat farm closure process. “They each sign a legal contract with the charity to relinquish the dogs, destroy all the cages, and never farm dogs or any animal again. The charity provides a small start-up grant to transition farmers to an alternative livelihood such as mushroom growing, water delivery, water parsley farming and other more humane trades.”

Jean Chung for HSi

For the dogs rescued from these often filthy and inhumane facilities, these closures are the start of a new life. The dogs are taken in by HSI’s shelter partners and fosters in the U.K., U.S. and Canada. The six dogs mentioned above recently made their way to the United Kingdom, where they are happily living in foster homes, hoping to find a family to call their own before the holidays.

Jean Chung for HSi

In the U.K., these six dogs are allowed to run, play, receive affection and enjoy a healthy life filled with dedicated care — privileges that they were denied at the dog meat farm.

“These facilities intensively breed dogs in barren, factory farm-style caging, appallingly deprived conditions that no animal of any species should ever have to endure. Our dog farm closures not only shine a spotlight on that cruelty and contribute to wider efforts in the country for policy change, but they also provide a lifeline for these frightened but friendly dogs to start new lives,” Claire Bass, executive director of HSI/UK, who was part of the rescue team in South Korea, said in a statement. “Our six new arrivals are all settling in their foster homes while our shelter partner Chimney Farm Rescue matches them with forever families. It’s wonderful to know that instead of a cold, metal cage they will have soft, warm beds and can start to put the dog meat trade behind them.”

Jean Chung for HSi

Chimney Farm Rescue’s founder, Jenn Gilbert, said she was amazed by how quickly the dogs forgot their dark past and adjusted to trusting humans and accepting kindness.

Rachel Riley Photography

“The six dogs who arrived – Bella, Winston, Molly, Maisie, Pumpkin and Oscar – are just amazing dogs, and after all they have endured they are settling into UK life amazingly,” she said. “Out for walks, cuddling up to humans, lying in comfortable beds, just how all dogs should live.”

Chimney Farm Rescue is not accepting new adoption enquiries for the six dogs at this time due to the volume of enquiries already received, but potential adopters should still check their website for information, and to meet more adoptable dogs.