Humane Society International (HSI) has rescued 23 puppies from becoming someone else’s dinner in South Korea and has transferred them to Washington D.C. area shelters.
The lucky dogs are set to begin a recovery process and will eventually be placed in a loving home, BuzzFeed reports. And the puppies will need some time to adjust, as they have spent their entire lives packed in small cages.
Eating dog meat in Korea is not socially unacceptable, as it is in the United States, and it is even considered a delicacy by many, though the practice is on decline, thanks to the efforts of animal advocacy groups.
HSI has been pursuing an ongoing operation to put an end to the dog meat trade in Asia and elsewhere and have succeeded in convincing Moon Suk Jung, an owner of a puppy farm in Korea, to give up the canines and stop running a dog farm.
According to The Huffington Post, HSI offered Mr. Moon $2,500 to start a blueberry farm instead of the dog farm and he accepted. (Scroll down for the video reports.)
1. Snowball gives Deidre Hyde several kisses as he’s one of 23 dogs rescued from South Korea by the Humane Society International group and taken to the Alexandria Animal Welfare League in Alexandria.
2. Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Adoption Associate Chelsea Lindsey looks on as Jenifer Lumpkin of Fairfax County Animal Shelter takes Snowball out of his kennel in Alexandria, Virginia.
3. Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Adoption Associate Chelsea Lindsey looks on as Jenifer Lumpkin of Fairfax County Animal Shelter takes Snowball out of his kennel.
Kelly O’Meara of HSI told The Washington Post:
Our objective is to have this be a permanent change in a cruel trade. [This farmer] is the first, and we’re hoping [he is] a model example for others to follow. Offering him some assistance — that was something we were happy to do.
Animal rights groups have stated that at least some of the estimated 2 million or so dogs eaten in South Korea every year suffer painful and inhumane deaths.
Views on dogs as both animals to be eaten and lived with as pets have co-existed in South Korea’s recent history, feeding a growing controversy that becomes most caustic in the summer. On three “dog days” each summer, many South Koreans line up for hot red soup, cooked with shredded dog meat and vegetables, on the belief that it gives them strength to bear the heat.
4. Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Adoption Associate Chelsea Lindsey plays with Billy, one of 23 dogs rescued from South Korea, at a shelter in Alexandria, Virginia.
5. Bo, a Shiba Inu and one of 23 dogs rescued from South Korea, looks out from his kennel at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria shelter in Alexandria, Virginia.
6. Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Director of Animal Care Abbie Hubbard helps Animal Welfare League of Arlington President and CEO Neil Trent carry out Momma Dog, one of 23 dogs rescued from Korea.
However, animal rights groups have said that the dog meat trade is on the decline and hope to put an end to the tradition altogether. Many are ready and willing to help farmers like Mr. Moon find viable alternatives.
At the same time, animal rights groups like HSI are working hard to rehabilitate rescued dogs that were bred for the sole purpose of eating.
Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Virginia has already offered to take in 10 of the dogs. Shelter director Tawny Hammond told The Huffington Post:
Animal welfare issues exist throughout the world and in our own region and we’re always eager to assist whenever can.
There are 23 dogs in all, for which HSI is hoping to find loving homes.
7. Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Director of Animal Care Abbie Hubbard looks away as Washington Animal Rescue League Chief Operations Officer Mary Jarvis carries away Nannie.
8. Manassas Animal Control Sgt. Christine Perry loads Thel, one of 23 dogs rescued from South Korea, into her van before departing the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria shelter.
9. Twenty-three dogs rescued by Humane Society International from a dog meat farm in Ilsan, South Korea, arrive in Washington, DC.
And here are the video reports:
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