More than 100 dogs were rescued from a South Korean canine meat farm and have been brought to America, where they are now safe, up for adoption, and looking for their forever homes.
In May, animal lovers with the Humane Society International rescued 170 dogs from a canine meat farm in Wonju, South Korea, where they were scheduled to be killed and eaten. They were taken in by emergency animal placement shelters in New Jersey, San Francisco, and other locations across the country.
Four of the rescued dogs are still waiting at the San Francisco SPCA for loving owners willing to give them forever homes: Leone, Hermione, Jenny and Drema.
South Koreans don’t eat dog meat everyday, but the yearly Bok Nal summer festival signals the beginning of canine meat season, which runs from mid-July through mid-August.
Diners will visit restaurants to eat steaming culinary dishes topped with dog meat and spices called Boshintang stew, which promotes male virility and stamina; some people believe dog meat cools the blood during the summer heat.
During the rest of the year, it’s only older South Koreans who eat dog meat, as younger people tend to shy away from eating canine, as the practice that is frowned upon by much of the Western world.
The country kills and eats an estimated 2.5 million dogs every year, and conditions in the canine meat farms is usually horrible as the animals are forced to live tiny, cramped cages with no protection from the weather.
The dogs get no exercise, receive no companionship or medical care, and often have their eardrums burst to prevent them from barking, Andrew Plumbly, campaign manager for the Humane Society International, told the SFGate.
“It’s factory-farming of dogs in row upon row of bare wire cages, filthy with feces. The dogs live in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety.”
Some Asian countries like Thailand and the Philippines have banned the practice of eating dog meat, but others like South Korea, China, and Vietnam continue to openly consume canine meat.
Many dog meat farmers in South Korea are unhappy providing canine meat for restaurants, but feel trapped by their circumstances. The dogs in San Francisco came from a canine meat farmer who reached out to the Humane Society last year as a way to get out of the business, Adam Parascandola, Director of Animal Protection and Crisis Response told USA Today.
“Almost every farmer we’ve spoken to doesn’t want to be in the business, most never planned to go into the business, but feel really trapped in it.”
This is the fifth South Korean dog meat farm the Humane Society has helped shut down, Parascandola told USA Today; activists help the farmers switch from raising canines for meat to growing crops like blueberries.
“Even though many have never even come out of their cages, we’ve found the majority have adapted quickly and been able to be moved into homes.”
The four dogs left in the San Francisco SPCA are eagerly awaiting their forever homes. Animal workers at the animal shelter want potential pet parents to know Leone, Hermione, and Drema will need some time to adjust to their new environments.
Leone is a Chinese shar-pei mix with droopy eyes, while Hermione is a husky mix and Drema is jindo mix.
Volunteers at the San Francisco SPCA want animal lovers looking for a new pet to know these dogs are cuddly, friendly, and full of love.
If you have enough love in your heart for a dog rescued from a Korean meat farm, check out the San Francisco SPCA.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]