You may remember, back in April of 2021, when we shared the story of 50 abandoned dogs that were rescued from a South Korean slaughterhouse. Now, along with an additional 121 rescues, the dogs have officially landed safely in Washington D.C., where they are being treated and prepped for adoption!
The Humane Society International (HSI) has spearheaded this rescue, saving more than 2,000 dogs so far from Korean dog meat farms. The pups are now with HSI’s affiliate, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), who will provide health assessments and any necessary veterinary care at their emergency center in D.C. before the dogs are placed with The Shelter and Rescue Partners. Some pups will even be transferred to HSI’s temporary shelter in Canada, where they will receive extended care before eventually being put up for adoption.
Although these pups are well on their ways to finding loving forever homes, not all dogs forced into these slaughterhouses are so lucky. Additionally, the survivors will have to live with the trauma of their horrendous living conditions for the rest of their lives. These 171 dogs are part of a larger group of 300 pups rescued from a variety of dilapidated meat farms. Some dogs were found locked in barren metal cages with no water or food, cowering at the sight of their human rescuers. Others suffered severe malnutrition and excruciating skin diseases that made walking a painful feat. Others still were found trapped in cages with the bodies of their dead cage mates who had died of apparent starvation. The 50 that were rescued in April were discovered trapped and caged on an abandoned slaughterhouse, awaiting euthanasia.
“No matter how many dogs we rescue from this brutal trade, it never gets easier to stomach the harsh, terrifying conditions we find the survivors enduring,” Kitty Block, CEO of HSI and president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States said in a statement. “On the most recent dog farm rescue that HSI worked on, the scene that greeted our team was particularly sobering because slaughter had been conducted on-site at this farm. Because of the tireless work of our staff and our partner groups in Korea, these dogs are one step closer to a new beginning as cherished family members.”
Through partnership with LIFE, KoreanK9Rescue, and Yongin Animal Care Association, HSI was able to permanently close the slaughterhouses and demolish their buildings. However, since South Korea is the only country that intensively farms dogs for human consumption, HSI has also developed a pioneering program that helps Korean dog farmers who want to leave the grotesque trade. This program allows HSI to rescue the farmed dogs and then assist the farmers in transitioning to a more humane and profitable livelihood. In return for this help, the farmers must sign a 20-year contract that states they will not breed dogs, or any other animal, that their cages will be demolished, and that no animals will suffer on their property in the future.
Thanks to the publicity surrounding these slaughterhouse rescues, HSI’s shelter partners have reported an increase in public interest in overall dog adoptions! Hopefully, these dog meat trade survivors will be healthy and in shelters soon, just one more step away from finding that caring and gentle forever home.
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