Two-hundred and fifty dogs who were destined to be dinner have been given a chance at a new life in the United States. As their South Korean owner watched activists empty his cages, he said eating dog was, “becoming weird for people.”
One-hundred and seventy of these dogs who left the South Korean meat farm have landed in a New Jersey shelter, thanks to the efforts of Humane Society International, Yahoo! News said.
The dogs were originally owned by Gong In-Young in Wonju, South Korea. Gong, according to Humane Society campaign manager Andrew Plumbly, had asked for the group’s help in getting out of the dog meat business.
“In our experience, many dog-meat farmers are keen to leave this business behind them, and come under increasing pressure from their children to end dog breeding and killing.”
Gong had earned a modest living in dog meat after several failed attempts in other businesses. Each dog sold for about $200, depending on size.
Gong admitted he was “never proud” of his farm. He, in fact, owns his own pet dog, a Spitz named Snow, whose life, when compared to the meat dogs, is “the difference between heaven and hell.”
Gong’s dogs have escaped South Korea barely three months before the nation celebrates Bok Nai, when large quantities of dog-meat-based boshintang stew are consumed, according to NBC New York.
Most South Koreans do not eat dog meat on a regular basis. But many will partake during Bok Nai. However, younger people in South Korea are beginning to turn away from the practice.
— Humane Society (@HumaneSociety) April 27, 2016
Over 250 dogs and puppies were taken from the farm and are being transported to various shelters in the United States and Canada. The dogs will be put up for adoption, although the animal advocates caution that they will need training and socialization.
A group of 170 dogs have begun to arrive at the St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, which operates animal shelters in Madison and North Branch, New Jersey, as well as an adoption center in Mt. Olive, New Jersey.
The dogs will undergo screening for their physical and emotional health. Heather Cammisa, president at St. Hubert’s, said that the farm has raised different breeds.
“We’ve had huskies, golden retriever, spitz, a variety of dogs from this farm.”
The Wonju farm is the fifth dog meat farm that Humane Society International has helped close down.
Cammissa said that the process of rehabbing the dogs will provide a model for future rescue efforts in the dog meat trade.
“We are proud to welcome these deserving animals and make sure their stories are told to help effect change. Two of the Huskies were so happy to see one another again, they were face licking and frolicking in the cage when reunited. It is important for the world to see the individuals impacted.”
— Humane Society (@HumaneSociety) April 28, 2016
The consumption of dog meat is becoming a widely known and loudly condemned practice. Efforts to spread the word and help the dogs have been amplified by celebrities such as Ricky Gervais and more recently, Lisa Vanderpump.
[Image via ANURAK PONGPATIMET/Shutterstock]