More dogs pulled from the depths of the South Korean dog meat trade

By on June 1, 2017 with 8 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Our rescue efforts continue for dogs destined for the butcher’s block in South Korea. Today, 12 recently rescued dogs are on the final leg of their journey into loving homes, prepped to start new lives that will bear almost no resemblance to their recent circumstances.

The dogs were part of a backyard breeding operation in Seongnam, South Korea, and had spent their lives living in filth on short chains, with almost no space to move around. Now, thanks to the work of Humane Society International and our partners who rescued and transported them over the Memorial Day weekend, they will soon prance into their forever homes.

The dogs are now at the Idaho Humane Society, an HSUS Emergency Placement Partner, which will socialize them to get them ready for adoption. They were transported to Boise with the help of Dog is My CoPilot, Inc., a non-profit animal rescue air transportation organization. One other dog rescued from the backyard breeder will go to the San Francisco SPCA. A 14th dog was also rescued along with her puppies, all of whom will remain with her for now in Seoul at a boarding facility.

This is HSI’s eighth dog meat farm closure in Korea, and to date we have rescued 839 dogs from South Korea’s dog meat trade. While these dogs represent a small subset of the animals at risk, every one of them matters to us. And, when it comes to the larger problem, a growing number of breeders and farmers are seeking us out to secure our help in closing their operations and transitioning to new livelihoods, signaling that many people involved in this business recognize it as a moral problem and even a shameful occupation. The latest breeder we worked with had sold his dogs in the past to Moran Market in Seongnam, but had trouble selling them over the last two years due to declining demand. Seongnam city officials, in December last year, decided to close down Moran Market’s dog meat section, the largest in the country, and transition traders to other livelihoods.

Adam Parascandola, left, director of animal protection and crisis response for HSI, and Nara Kim, HSI campaign manager in South Korea, carry out puppies rescued from the backyard breeding operation. Photo by Jean Chung/For HSI

Most people in South Korea don’t regularly eat dogs, and the practice is increasingly falling out of favor with the younger generation. That’s why we are also focusing on a public awareness campaign to highlight the cruelty of the dog meat trade and to educate people that there is no difference between a “pet dog” and a “meat dog,” so more Koreans will open their homes and hearts to dogs from dog meat farms.

Last month, we received news that dog meat sales would likely be banned at the globally infamous dog meat festival in Yulin, China. Here in the United States, U.S. Representatives Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Dave Trott, R-Mich. and Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., have introduced the Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act of 2017, to ban the dog and cat meat trade in the United States. In addition to legislating dog meat trading and eating out of existence in the United States, the legislation also serves as an expression of solidarity with animal activists in Asia, including South Korea, who are fighting the trade in their own countries.

Given the scale of South Korea’s dog meat farm industry, only a government-led phase-out of dog meat farming and consumption can effectively and permanently eliminate this cruel trade. With Pyeongchang hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Korean government is aware of the international spotlight that will settle upon the country in the months leading up to the event. And adding to the pressure, Pyeongchang is in Gangwon province, where many dog meat farms are located.

Dog by dog, and person by person, we are committed to ending the dog meat trade everywhere. Today’s rescue of a dozen dogs is a reason for celebration and a continued reminder of who and what is at stake.

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. Annoula Wylderich says:

    This is among the many animal welfare campaigns that I am passionate about and I’m so glad we have the HSUS and HSI boots-to-the-ground efforts going strong. Dr. Andrew Rowan of HSI is extremely knowledgeable about dealing with the intricacies of those countries that harbor this trade and I have a lot of faith in him and his team that progress will continue to be made until we have effectively demolished this atrocity. . .permanently.

  2. Sonja Sharkey says:

    Thank you for the detailed info about your cause.
    One dog at a time…yes you make s big difference.
    Thank you for all your efforts and the endless hours the volunteers/teams and partners put in to rescue dogs from the horrific dog meat trade.

  3. Stacey Cunningham says:

    How do you thank those who rescue dogs from unimaginable horrors?! The actions of all involved to me are nothing less than heroic. I thank all those who devote their lives to save and protect the innocent. You are in my prayers.

  4. Kathy says:

    Thank you for all the humane work you are doing to end this horrible dog meat trade.

  5. Gloria Bacina says:

    Thank you so much for the work you are doing to help these poor innocent animals. It is truly bravery for a person who loves animals to go to these horrible places to rescue them and witness the horrors there. I pray for the strength of the rescuers to be able to continue their work. All who want to help should do whatever we can to send a message to people & companies involved in the So Korea Olympics in 2018.

  6. Tricia Hamilton says:

    Thank You caring People. God Bless!!

  7. Jeana says:

    Thank you for your work HSUS..We have to end this sickening practice.. Dogs..Mans best friend.. This is so morally wrong. And yes, shameful. The suffering , fear , pain , hunger, they go through is heartbreaking.

    God Bless you all.

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.