Second Chance: Dogs Rescued From South Korean Dog Meat Farm Find Hope in Oregon

Most of us see dogs as friends, companions and beloved family members, but in some parts of the world, they are used for food. In March 2016, 28 dogs raised for this purpose in South Korea were rescued by Humane Society International as part of an initiative to give these animals a chance at a new life.The consumption of dog meat in Korean culture is an ancient practice, but it has fallen out of popularity in recent decades. Many South Koreans keep dogs as pets, and only a very small percentage of the population eats dog meat regularly. However, this small percentage is enough to fund the operation of commercial dog meat farms.

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Humane Society International targets these farmers, who often want to get out of the business, as it is considered shameful. HSI works with them to close down their dog farming operations and switch to growing cash crops so they are still able to make a living. The 28 dogs transported to Oregon are part of one of these closures, this one a farm in Wonju, South Korea. The dogs are being shipped to the United States in smaller groups, but eventually 250 dogs that would have been killed for meat are going to become pets instead.

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Dogs raised for meat in South Korea are often kept in deplorable conditions. They live their lives in small, dirty cages, with little or no exercise or social interaction. These 28 dogs are going to be cared for initially by the Humane Society of Central Oregon and BrightSide Animal Shelter, where volunteers and staff will nurse them back to health and help them learn how to be pets. The dogs are young, ranging in age from 4 months to 2 years, so they stand a good chance at making a full rehabilitation and finding excellent adoptive homes.These 28 dogs may face some hurdles while adjusting to their new situations, but caring rescuers and adoptive families will help them start new, happy lives. Show your love for your furry friends and help shelter animals in need by donning this fun baseball cap.

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