200 more dogs saved from the butcher in South Korea

By on January 10, 2017 with 5 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with a link to the HSI news release with a list of the shelters where the dogs are going.

Our Humane Society International team has closed down yet another dog meat farm in South Korea, once again becoming the architect of a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of dogs doomed to die miserably for the meat trade. This week, 200 dogs — once destined for the butcher’s block after having spent their lives in filthy, cramped, overcrowded cages — are on their way to safer confines in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, where they will be rehabilitated and then placed for adoption.

This latest rescue occurred in the Gangwon province, which is hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics. With this rescue, we draw continuing attention to the cruelty of this trade as part of our campaign to convince the South Korean government to support a phase-out of the dog meat trade ahead of the Olympics. Attitudes there toward dogs are changing for the better, and so many of the farmers want out of the bloody business. In fact, the owner of this farm approached HSI after being urged by her daughter to give up the dog meat business and transition to another line of work.

HSI has now rescued a total of 770 dogs from Korea’s farms since January 2015. As with all our previous farm closures, we will help the farmer transition to a more humane trade. But there are thousands of such farms across the country and it is estimated that between 2 million and 2.5 million dogs are slaughtered for human consumption in the country each year. We cannot shut down every farm and bring the dogs to other nations, but we can act as a catalyst for changes in attitudes and public policy. We’re seeing local government officials recognize that the dog meat farms are bringing nothing but bad publicity. South Korea’s status as the only country where dogs are farmed commercially for their meat makes the country something of an outlier and puts its reputation at risk, especially as the world turns its attention to the coming Olympic games there.

Last month, the city of Seongnam announced the closure of the country’s largest dog meat market and – in a model very similar to the one HSI has been using — will give financial support to the dog meat vendors at the market to refurbish their shops for new businesses. Yet there is still a widespread misconception that farmed dogs are somehow different from companion dogs, and we are working to dispel that myth through our education campaigns.

The dogs we have rescued belong to several breeds, including cocker spaniels, English spaniels, beagles, and Pyrenees as well as breeds more commonly found on meat farms, like mastiffs and Jindos. As you can see in this live video HSI streamed on Facebook, these are amazing dogs who will make wonderful companion animals, and we are thrilled to give them a chance at a better life.

Once the dogs arrive here in the United States, they will be taken to animal shelters participating in our Emergency Placement Partner program and will be placed for adoption as family pets in loving homes. The shelters are located in Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Virginia, among other states. A list of all shelters is available here.

Help fight the dog meat trade »

Animal Rescue and Care, Companion Animals, Humane Society International

Subscribe to the Blog

Enter your email address below to receive updates each time we publish new content.


Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Sonia Reyes says:

    It would increase donations,if people could see “after” videos or photos of these dogs. I donate monthly for years and have never seen a presentation of post rescue.

  2. mattie goodwin says:

    thank you for trying to shut down dog slaughter farms! i appreciate all you do for animals! congratulations! and good luck!

  3. martine alexander says:

    Congrats and Good Luck. In this day and age, I struggle to come to terms why people choose to be so barbaric,evil and destructive.

  4. Sandra Vargas says:

    I want to see pictures of Leo and Julia in their new homes. Please send when available.

  5. Dorothy says:

    Hi I’m a student from south korea. I have few things to tell you Mr. Pacelle. I’m sorry for my short English. I’ll try my hard. I’m not sure whether my comment will alert you but I wish you read this.
    First thank you for saving dogs in my country. Well still there are lots of dogs being abused and abandoned in south Korea… And the laws for animals here are unbelievably weak. My country is not ready to raise animals yet. There is almost no regulation. I was so touched that you (hmane society)made so many changes on federal laws, and you moved the residents’ mind.
    I wanted to tell you sth, and I found this post about south Korea in your facebook so Im writing comment now.
    I just wanted to tell you I was sooooo touched with your book.’The bond~kinship~’ Sorry mine is translated one so im not sure what exact English name is. Anyway I just couldn’t stop crying. I really want to work for animal rights just like you in future. Thank you for publishing book and i’ll always cheer you in south korea. Thanks for reading and bye!

Share a Comment

The HSUS encourages open discussion, and we invite you to share your opinion on our issues. By participating on this page, you are agreeing to our commenting policy.
Please enter your name and email address below before commenting. Your email address will not be published.