Dogs saved from meat farm in Asia to be adopted in city
They were destined to be sold for meat, but now about 200 dogs from South Korea will be adopted by loving families, many of them in the Montreal area.
Earlier this week, Humane Society International shut down a farm that had been set to slaughter and sell its dogs in the meat market in Asia. It was the 13th dog-meat farm HSI has helped shut down in the past three years. The operation was funded in part with a $42,000 donation from former American Idol judge Simon Cowell.
On Friday, Rebecca Aldworth, the executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, spoke to the Montreal Gazette minutes before 70 of the dogs were expected to be brought to HSI/Canada’s temporary shelter in Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges district.
“Here, the healing really begins,” Aldworth said. “They have had a very long and daunting journey, but once they get here, it’s really an amazing thing to see them getting proper nutrition, the veterinary treatment that they need, and of course the love and attention and behavioural therapy that help them get ready to be in a forever home.”
Aldworth, who visited the farm in Namyangju, described a horrid scene, “worse than you can ever imagine,” with dogs crammed into cages and positioned over months worth of their own waste, covered in flies. Many were emaciated and had diseases. They were not given water, but forced to live on “ground up slop,” which is the waste products from restaurants.
Many of the dogs were wearing collars, which means they were family pets that were abandoned. Others were pure bred Tibetan Mastiffs, Maltese, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers and Jindos. The farm had once been a puppy mill breeding dogs to be sold in pet stores, but the mill was turned into a meat farm — a common practice in South Korea.
Now that they ’re in Montreal, Aldworth said there are hundreds of volunteers that will help socialize the dogs, walk them, read to them, play them classical music, and get them accustomed to life outside a farm, teaching them to walk up and down stairs, for instance.
“In some cases, we can place dogs almost immediately; in other cases, it takes months,” she said.
The dogs can be adopted through partner shelters like Animatch, Rosie Animal Adoption and others. Aldworth said all the dogs will find homes, eventually, as Montreal’s shelters currently have more demands to adopt that pets to fill the need.
To find out more about the dogs, how to adopt them, or how to volunteer for HSI/ Canada, go to hsi. org/world/canada and type “dog meat farm rescue” into the search box.
HSI has so far rescued 1,500 dogs from dog-meat farms in South Korea. It works with the government to help transition the farms into other industries as long as the farmers pledge never to breed dogs again, and the equipment and cages are destroyed.
“Here, the healing really begins,” said Rebecca Aldworth of HSI/Canada, holding one of the canines rescued from a farm in South Korea.