171 Dogs Rescued From South Korea’s Meat Trade Arrive In U.S. To Find Homes

171 dogs on track to eventually be eaten by humans in South Korea have been saved and brought to the United States as part of a rescue operation coordinated by Humane Society International.

The dogs had been raised as commodities in the South Korean meat trade—meat that humans would eventually consume.

The Animal And Dog Meat Trade

Experts estimate that over 2 million dogs are raised to be eaten on thousands of dog meat farms across South Korea. This lucky bunch is now looking for forever homes in the United States and Canada instead of facing that horrible fate.

“No matter how many dogs we rescue from this brutal trade, it never gets easier to stomach the harsh, terrifying conditions we find the survivors enduring,” Kitty Block, CEO of Humane Society International and president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a press release.

“On the most recent dog farm rescue that HSI (Humane Society International) worked on, the scene that greeted our team was particularly sobering because slaughter had been conducted on-site at this farm,” Block continued.

So Much Suffering

All of the dogs had been kept in tiny metal cages without proper food, water, or sanitation. Diseases were running rampant, and some of the dogs had died in their cages but been left there because no one cared enough to remove them.

Often, during the killing process on these farms, little to no thought is given to pain and suffering. The dogs being slaughtered are hacked to death in front of dogs who are next in line for the same fate.

It’s a chilling, gut-wrenching scene to imagine. And we’re glad there are folks out there like HSI and their partners to do the important work of saving these canines.

“Because of the tireless work of our staff and our partner groups in Korea, these dogs are one step closer to a new beginning as cherished family members,” Block said.

People in some other Asian countries consume dog meat, but it’s most prevalent in South Korea, where networks of thousands of dog meat farms provide hundreds of distributors and restaurants with the meat.

Fighting The Good Fight

It’s not the first time the Humane Society or another organization stepped in to save a lucky lot of pups. Even in the face of the enormous numbers of dogs who die as part of the animal trade, seeing other rescue operations, like one that saved 200 dogs along with another that saved 196, gives us hope that the good guys can win.

The Humane Society was joined by HSI/Korea, LIFE, KoreanK9Rescue, and the Yongin Animal Care Association on several of the rescue raids. Together, they’ve already saved the lives of over 2,000 dogs slated for slaughter in South Korea.

HSI has also started a program with owners of dog farms in South Korea who want to get out of the business by helping them transition to different, humane types of farming and agriculture. It aims to help reduce the number of suppliers in the dog meat trade.

It’s a big story iHeartDogs has covered before and will continue to keep our eye on. If you’d like to learn more about Humane Society International’s fight against the dog meat trade (and how you can help), you can find more info here.

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