Dogs saved from meat farm in Asia to be adopted in city

Montreal Gazette - - CITY - JA­SON MAGDER jmagder@post­media.com twit­ter.com/ja­son­magder face­book.com/ja­son­magder­jour­nal­ist

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.

HU­MANE SO­CI­ETY IN­TER­NA­TIONAL/CANADA

“Here, the heal­ing re­ally be­gins,” said Re­becca Ald­worth of HSI/Canada, hold­ing one of the ca­nines res­cued from a farm in South Korea.

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