A group of eight dogs arrived safely at Heathrow Airport last week, having been saved from lives of misery on a South Korean dog meat farm. Humane Society International (HSI) was responsible for closing the farm in Gangwon province and in doing so rescued the lives of 200 dogs from eventual human consumption.
The dogs had been confined to metal cages with little food or protection from the harsh climate. The farm itself – located in Gangwon – is the proposed venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics and HSI is thus calling on the South Korean government to support a phase out of the dog meat trade ahead of the event, and introduce a clear-cut ban on the trade.
The eight dogs to be adopted in the UK include a Golden Retriever-cross called Bridgette, white Chihuahua Poppet, terrier Rufus, black and white terrier Coco, mother and son Beagles called Sophie and Brent, terrier Simona, and spaniel-collie mix Nina.
HSI is working in conjunction with the All Dogs Matter rehoming centre in North London and the Medical Detection Dogs charity to find suitable dogs for their programme to sniff out cancer and other ailments.
HSI Director of Animal Protection, Adam Parascondola, who was directly involved in the rescue, had the following to say, “With the Winter Olympics just over a year away, now is the time for the South Korean government to act to end the dog meat trade and let the world focus on the country’s preparations for a great sporting event, rather than on the terrible suffering of dogs being raised on farms for a meat few Koreans consume.”
This is the sixth dog meat farm closed by HSI, bringing the total number of saved dogs to 770 since the charity began its campaign to end the dog meat trade in 2014. In this instance, they found an incredibly wide variety of breeds including Cocker Spaniels, Huskies, Beagles, Pyrenean Mountain Dogs, assorted mastiffs, and Korean Jindos. The owner of this particular dog meat farm approached the HSI on an individual basis, after being urged by her daughter to give up the business and transfer to another line of work.
UK Director of HSI, Claire Bass, said the following upon meeting the eight adopted pups, “It’s such a wonderful feeling to get these dogs out safe and sound, and to know that they are at last free of daily suffering and the threat of being killed and eaten. Despite being denied love and comfort for so long, it’s incredibly touching that these dogs still have such great affection for people, and we’re very confident that they’ll make wonderful companions in their happy new homes here in the UK. They’ll also serve as ambassadors for the millions of other dogs still languishing on dog meat farms in South Korea.”
Humane Society International has recently learnt that many farm operators are eager to change their occupation. Yet, only a government-led phase out of dog meat farming and consumption will eliminate this cruel trade.
The dogs will now settle in the All Dogs Matter rehoming centre, which will look to find them new families.
ADM Director Ira Moss said, “All Dogs Matter are truly honoured that we are able to help the dogs that Humane Society International has rescued from South Korea. We look forward to finding them their forever homes and hope to see an end to the horrors of this awful trade.”
Featured image via Humane Society International.