A stay of execution for 31 more dogs from South Korea

By on September 26, 2016 with 11 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Humane Society International’s campaign to stop the slaughter of dogs for meat is unremitting, and today we are announcing that 31 dogs on the verge of being butchered after living on a South Korean dog meat farm are bound for the United States.

The dogs arriving today came from an unlicensed and therefore illegal backyard operation in Jeonju in South Korea. Neighbors tipped off the authorities and local activists with help from HSI and Free Korean Dogs intervened to rescue the dogs, giving them the needed veterinary care and vaccinations required to transport them to the United States for adoption. The dogs will go to five of our Emergency Placement Partners in North Carolina, including the Outer Banks SPCA in Manteo, Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society, Moore Humane Society in Carthage, Paws of Bryson City, and Watauga Humane Society in Boone. Pet Dominion in Rockville, Maryland is providing boarding for the dogs en route to North Carolina.

South Korea is the only country in the world where dogs are raised on farms to supply the commercial demand for dog meat. It is estimated that between two and 2.5 million dogs are slaughtered for human consumption in South Korea each year on thousands of dog farms scattered around the country, ranging from small backyard enterprises to large-scale industrialized farms with more than 1,000 dogs.

The dogs suffer misery and privation on the meat farms, as you can see in our new video, “A day in the life of a dog meat dog.” The dogs live in small, barren cages, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, and they’re given meager rations, just enough to survive. Some are housed alone, others in crowded cages. Many suffer from disease, injury, and malnutrition, and all are subject to terrible daily neglect. The meat farms are like puppy mills, but with the purpose of breeding and intentionally slaughtering the dogs and no pretense of proper care.

Since 2014, HSI has closed down a series of dog meat farms, and helped the farmers transition into humane, alternative livelihoods, like growing crops or starting water delivery services. We have brought 526 dogs into the United States and Canada to be adopted, and most have found forever homes with some still up for adoption.

With the Winter Olympics set for South Korea in 2018, we have an opportunity to focus a spotlight on this issue. HSI is creating a public awareness campaign to highlight the cruelty of the dog meat trade, to close the perception within Korea of a “pet dog” versus a “meat dog,” and to promote pet adoption in Korea. Koreans tend to prefer small breed dogs and purebreds, and dogs from meat farms are not considered adoptable.

Here in the United States, many of our Emergency Placement Partner shelters report long lines of potential adopters when the dogs are made available. The attention the Korean dogs bring to the community increases adoption of all dogs and even cats awaiting homes in our partner shelters.

The dogs on meat farms live in small, barren cages, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, and they’re given meager rations, just enough to survive. Above, Florence, one of the rescued dogs, in her cage on the meat farm.

The dogs on meat farms live in small, barren cages, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, and they’re given meager rations, just enough to survive. Above, Florence, one of the rescued dogs, in her cage at the meat farm. Photo by Frank Loftus/HSI

HSI’s work to end the dog meat trade in other countries is also brisk. In 2013, HSI co-founded the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA) to combat the dog meat trade in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. The campaign has secured a five-year moratorium on the cross-border trade of dogs for meat between all of these countries. ACPA is also working with the Vietnamese government to increase public awareness about the risks involved in consuming dog meat, and the direct correlation of the trade in dogs for meat and the spread of rabies.

In China, HSI is partnering with local animal welfare organizations and supporting their efforts in combating the dog meat trade within their own country. Since August 2014, more than 10,000 dogs have been rescued from large transport vehicles carrying hundreds of captured dogs in crowded cages to their deaths at various slaughterhouses in the country. HSI also has a major campaign targeting the cruel Yulin dog meat festival held annually in June in Yulin, China.

Ending the dog meat trade, in so many countries and so far from our base in the United States, is one of the toughest campaigns we’ve ever undertaken. But it’s perhaps the biggest and most barbaric form of companion animal exploitation in the world, and that means we’ve got to confront it. We’ll not rest until we win. At every step, we’ll need your help.

Animal Rescue and Care, Companion Animals, Humane Society International

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  1. Susan Whitehead says:

    It is a most admirable and formidable goal to shut down this industry in these countries and I agree that people in those in the practicing countries need to see dogs in a different light. It is moving to show that these dogs can come to America and Canada and become loved members of families, but what if they could even do more? For instance, what if some of these little puppies that are saved could become service dogs, such as “seeing eye” dogs? Is it possible that watching some of these rescued “meat” puppies grow up not only to be loved, but to also be seen themselves as loving, intelligent, caregivers and life-savers might make an impact on those who now only see them as a meal?

    • Joanne Bagan says:

      Seeing eye dogs are specifically bred for that purpose, so that wouldn’t be a possibility for these dogs. But just being loving pet companions is good enough.

  2. Linda Segal says:

    Thank you HSI for all the great work you do to save our beloved animals. I am proud that you represents the actions that I can’t.
    I still think you need to have CNN or BBC follow your great work. Facebook isn’t enough to get the horrible treatment of dogs/cats in Asia out publicly. Most of the worlds population doesn’t know the gravity of this. I for one never knew.

    Please make a plea to Congress to support H.Res. 752 to make the US to take a proactive stand.

    • Maria King Schiro says:

      Thank you for your Sharing of Information on House Resolution 752. I hope it Passes Both Houses. I hope it’s Signed by The President. Then? I hope Bill Sponsors will seek Support from European States, such as Ireland, to Draft such Laws, too. No Responsible Democracy should condone Consumption of Companion Animals, nor, Supporting such an Industry. At the very least? Human Health could suffer from these meat forms.

  3. Pam Moorman says:

    This is jus so barbaric. I can’t stand it. Thank you for all you do for these poor innocent dogs.

  4. Maria King Schiro says:

    Thank you, HSUS for reporting on the appalling Dog, Cat, and, Bush Meat Industries, Globally. Given Scientific Advancement in Vegetable Protein Material Production? There can be NO justification to Slaughtering of domestic Dogs and Cats to Supply the Human Food Chain. Such is an unconscionable use of Trusting Animals to Satisfy a Human Predilection. Nothing more. Nothing less.

  5. carol stott says:

    I was wondering if you could contact National Geographic and big news outlets to do a story about this horrific torturing and killing of dogs. I do write and make calls, but someone with your backing would get their attention. Although I applaud shutting down these farms and offering an alternative to these farmers; I feel such disdain for these monster people who have no heart. Giving them a new livelihood is too good for them but for the sake of the animals, it has to be done. I find a lot of people don’t know this is going on in the world and for those that do, they feel it is too painful to even think this is being done to animals who could be our pets. Once they see the torturing of the animals, it seems to change them indefinitely. I know it has changed me and I still have nightmares of how they kill these animals. It has, however, motivated me to think of ways to bring attention to this cruelty. I think these videos need to be shown worldwide so that people will get mad and people en masse can put more pressure on the governments. As more petitions and pictures are being shown, comments from thousands of people are showing great indifference to the people of these countries. They are forgetting all the good people who are rescuing them. That would need to be put in a story about this deplorable practice. This way it would put shame on those people/countries that do this and praise for those that save these animals.

  6. Miriam Wright says:

    Thank you please keep helping to end the Holocaust and torture of man’s best friend, keep pressurering our representatives to co-sponsor H Resolution 752 so our government can put pressure to the Chinese and Asian governments to have and enforce animals protection laws and stop the meat trade. Thank you

  7. angelina ricketts says:

    It upsets me to see this. They should bring law out all over china to stop stealing pets from owners back yard porch’s and on the streets. Don’t go to china and dint buy dog and cat meat plz. X

  8. angelina ricketts says:

    This should be stopped. Bring the law out to stop eating dogs and cats. Stop stealing them. Respect these animals. Don’t go to china only if your saving these poor babies and don’t buy dog cat meat. X

  9. Jo Ardell says:

    The fur and skins of these poor Dogs and Cats are on the winter coats and hats that are sold in the United States and other countries. This Must End.

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