Dogs raised on meat farm in South Korea get rescued and given a second chance

June 21, 2017 3:41 pm Last Updated: June 21, 2017 3:41 pm

Let’s all take a moment to do a collective fistpump as dozens of dogs were rescued from a slaughterhouse in Goyang, South Korea, by the Humane Society International (HSI).

The South Korean dog meat industry is in decline, but there is still demand for dog meat. According to the HSI, nearly 2.5 million dogs are consumed every year in South Korea. Although it is still culturally accepted, the practice is rapidly losing popularity. They also, however, remain in a weird place regarding the ingestion of dog meat; the demand is high enough to create an industry, but since the general population and international community frowns on the practice, the industry has a shoddy record on animal rights abuse.

Adam Parascandola, HSI’s director for animal protection and crisis response, led the rescue and was one of those tasked with physically removing the dogs from their cages. He’s been working on this campaign to shut down the dog meat trade in Asia for more than two years now. Earlier this year, Parascandola with a few other workers were able to rescue 55 dogs from a dog meat  farm in Goyang, South Korea. 

“I thought I’d seen it all until I first saw this facility,” Parascandola said. 

“It literally took my breath away, not least because when we first entered the darkness, the stench was overpowering,” said Parascandola according to the HSI.

The dogs were also malnourished, and many were in poor health. There were even some suspected former pets locked away that were unwanted by their former owners and sold to the farm for meat. As HSI staff removed the dogs from their cages, the animals would press their faces into the bars, unable to stop barking.

After the dogs were removed from the facility, they were swiftly transferred to New York for veterinary treatment. Once cleared, they will be moved to licensed adoption centers where they’ll be able to find new, loving homes.

While there was a happy ending for these dogs, HSI’s work remains unfinished in South Korea. Even today, there are around 17,000 such dog meat farms currently operating. While the numbers are daunting, Parascandola is undeterred, his commitment and love for our four legged friends remains strong.

“These dogs have lived their lives so far in deplorable conditions, so we’re all really excited to be getting them out,” said Parascandola. He says that many of the dogs are very tame and one in particular didn’t want to leave his lap. “It was like she’d found comfort at last and she wasn’t giving it up. She doesn’t know it yet but she’ll have a soft warm bed for the rest of her life now,” he said. 

If you feel inspired to help out, please visit the Humane Society International’s website, and donate to end the dog meat trade for good.