He may be a tough critic, but Simon Cowell definitely has a soft spot when it comes to animals.
The America's Got Talent judge recently busted out his checkbook to make a generous donation to aide animals in need. According to People, the 59-year-old donated upwards of $32,000 to Humane Society International. The charity ended up using Cowell's generous donation to help to shut down a dog meat farm in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea -- saving more than 200 dogs. This is the 13th dog meat farm that HSI has helped to shut down.
HSI's Director of International Media, Wendy Higgins, told the publication that Cowell's amazing donation helped them to save countless lives.
"His support helped financially but also in raising awareness. We met people in South Korea who has [sic] heard of his donation and it really had an impact."The conditions that the dogs were kept in while at the facility was nothing short of disgusting. Not only were the animals kept in dirty and uncomfortable wire cages, but they were also neglected and covered in sores. Many dogs present had horrible skin diseases. Higgins says that it's really hard to see so many beloved dogs in such terrible health, living under such conditions -- and that it's never easy.
"It's my fifth dog meat farm closure with HSI and honestly, it never gets any easier, it never feels any less horrific to see these dogs clearly so terrified and yet so desperate for human affection.""The conditions are utterly shocking, a factory farm for dogs where they are kept in tiny prisons day in day out. And yet to be there with my HSI colleagues to lift these guys out of that deprivation and suffering, is the best feeling in the world," she continued. "A typhoon hit mid rescue too so that was extra challenging, but we kept smiling! Those dogs were getting out and that was all that mattered!"
Now that the rescue efforts are complete with this particular factory, the lucky dogs will be flown all over the world to places like the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. They will then be vetted and brought back to full health before going on to find their forever homes. But while HSI has made some headway, shutting down 13 dog meat shelters already, there is still a lot of work that is still left to be done. Currently, there are over 17,000 dog meat factories in South Korea alone.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump is another celebrity who has been incredibly vocal and instrumental in helping to shut down dog meat factories in Asia.