The Telegraph is reporting today that 23 dogs that were bred on a South Korea dog farm have been rescued and brought to the U.S. The dogs had been bred to be killed for human consumption in South Korea. Now, the lucky canines are on their way to U.S. shelters where they can look forward to a new life after being adopted as pets.
According to WTOP, the dogs and puppies have been rescued by Humane Society International and are on their way to the Washington D.C. area where they will hopefully lead a full and rewarding life as family pets. Attitudes to animals are clearly very different across cultures with dogs seen as a food source in South Korea, whereas in the United States, animal cruelty has been categorized as a crime against society by the FBI.
Kelly O’Meara, a spokesperson for Humane Society International, said that this was the first time her group had been able to negotiate with a South Korean dog farmer who had agreed “to shut the doors for good.”
O’Meara said her group met with the South Korean farmer, and he has pledged that from now on he will focus on growing blueberries.
Humane Society International posted a short video of some of the dogs being rescued on social media site Twitter. The video shows two really cute puppies being fussed over by volunteers
Humane Society International just rescued 23 dogs from South Korea's dog meat trade. https://t.co/wqPXZ9lSys— Antioco Sodano (@DrSodano) January 6, 2015
There is a long history of dogs being bred for human consumption in South Korea. The dogs are typically kept in overcrowded, outdoor cages and fed very little.
Kelly O’Meara said, “They live there their entire lives. They never get out of the cage; they never are handled by people.”
Of the 23 dogs that were rescued from this particular farm, about half arrived Monday night in Alexandria Va. The remainder will arrive today. Megan Webb, executive director of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, said,
“We’ve given them all new beds and comfy toys and all those things they’ve probably never had before, after they rest, the dogs will get medical exams and eventually they’ll learn the basics of Doggyhood, which they likely know nothing about: “What is a couch? What is a leash? What is a dog bowl?”
Most of the dogs will be transferred to other shelters to be socialized, and it is not yet clear when they will be ready for adoption.
It is estimated that at least 1.2 million dogs are slaughtered for human consumption in South Korea each year, and there are hundreds of farms specializing in breeding dogs for meat.
HSI has been working with local groups in China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam to raise public awareness of the dog meat trade. South Korea is unusual in that it actually farms the dogs, whereas in other countries, feral animals are targeted as a food source.
O’Meara said it was the first time that dogs from South Korea intended for human consumption had been rescued and brought into the United States, where a brisk demand for adopted dogs and cats is met by a thriving network of animal rescue groups and shelters.
It seems for these dogs, at least, the New Year brings the prospect of a happy new life.
So what do Inquisitr readers think? Is it ever acceptable to breed dogs as a food source?
[ image – Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images & Vegan Urbanite]