After being saved from certain death in the South Korean meat market, nearly four dozen dogs arrived safely at Kennedy International Airport in New York on Saturday. The 46 dogs were rescued from a Goyang farm by Humane Society International, and would have otherwise wound up butchered and sold in a market north of Seoul.
Kelly O’Meara, the Humane Society of the United States’ leader in companion-animal-related international projects, said the farm was dark and dismal, like a dungeon, with barely any light or ventilation.
“The stench of ammonia would bring tears to your eyes when you walked through,” O’Meara told the Associated Press. “You’d see eyes peering at you, but it was hard to actually see the dogs themselves in the dark.”
O’Meara has records on another 17,000 farms in South Korea that deal in dog meat. She told NBC that at least 2 million dogs are slaughtered in the meat trade every year to handle the country’s demand, although eating dog has been experiencing a sharp decline in popularity.
Those that are yet relegated to a life in one of these nightmarish farms have little hope of escape, and even less hope of being treated with care.
“They either get through it or they die in their cage, and they receive just enough food to get by,” O’Meara said.
HSUS teams have rescued more than 800 dogs from seven different farms in South Korea since 2015. Many were abandoned or sold to the meat industry, unwanted as pets. But once the dogs are brought to the United States, they are cleaned up, evaluated by veterinarians, given their shots, and adopted out into new homes.
Several of the dogs that recently arrived in New York were put up for adoption by Animal Haven.
The Animal Rescue Site wishes the best to all 46 new furry Americans and hopes to report on many future similar stories as HSUS rescue efforts continue. In the meantime, GreaterGood is fortunate enough to have partnered with the Soi Dog Foundation, which seeks improve the welfare of dogs and cats in Thailand, resulting in better lives for both the animal and human communities, to end animal cruelty, and to ultimately create a society without homeless animals. Click the button below to lend your own help these dogs in desperate need.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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