Dogs rescued from S. Korean meat farm
11 arrive in Queenstown for adoption
QUEENSTOWN — A little more than a month ago, the Animal Welfare League of Queen Anne’s County rescued 21 dogs from Louisiana after tornados damaged regions of the state and shelters there needed help to place homeless animals.
On Sunday, AWL, the county’s no-kill shelter, took in 11 dogs from a closed down meat farm in South
Korea after the Humane Society International organization reached out looking for emergency placement of the canines.
Flown into JFK airport in New York, the dogs were transported by van by Pittsburg Aviation Animal Rescue Team to Queen Anne’s County. In total, 55 dogs were rescued from the meat farm and were distributed to shelters with capacity in New York, Pennsylvania and in here in Maryland, said Hovermale, Maryland state director of the Humane Society of the United States.
Kirstyn Northrop-Cobb, AWL shelter manager, said the majority of the dogs are jindos, a common meat farm breed, but that the shelter also received a few spaniels, shih tzus and pointers.
With some still on the shy side, Northrop-Cobb said, AWL is currently medically and behaviorally clearing the dogs to ensure they find the right homes for adoption. The dogs are all vaccinated but need to be spayed and neutered, she said.
AWL is aiming to have the dogs available for adoption on Saturday, April 1.
All of the expenses for vetting the dogs was covered by Humane Society International, Northrop-Cobb said.
For those questioning why the shelter is taking in animals from other countries and not focusing only on animals in the county, Northrop-Cobb said if people are reaching out for help it the organization is “more than happy to help them” if the shelter has capacity.
“Certainly we’d like to help out across the board to help as many animals as we can,” she said.
Working closely with the Humane Society International, Hovermale said whenever the organization is going in to close down a dog meat farm they will contact emergency placement partners which then reach out to local shelters to see if space and resources are available.
Hovermale said Humane Society International has shut down seven dog meat farms in recent years in South Korea, resulting in more than 800 dogs being saved. “Ultimately the goal is to show a blueprint to the South Korean government” and to show them a strategic way to end the meat trade industry entirely.
With an estimated 17,000 dog meat farms in South Korea, Hovermale said, “we’re not going to rescue our way out of this problem.”
In the case of the 55 dogs recently rescued, Hovermale said the farm owners were looking to retire and didn’t want to sell the animals to another meat farm. The couple, who are in their 70s, reached out to Humane Society International to leave the dogs in “kind hands,” Hovermale said.
She said the couple were “increasingly feeling bad” about their participation in the industry and hope to see the government step in and aid dog meat farmers in transitioning into other fields of farming.
“We really need the South Korean government to step up and help these people out ... so it’s a better situation for everyone, especially the dogs,” she said.
Hovermale said it is important to note that the consumption of dog has decreased greatly, and the idea that people eat dog meat regularly is a misconception. She said much of the younger generation has not carried on that tradition of consumption.
With the Winter Olympics heading to South Korea in 2018, Hovermale said the Humane Society International has “ramped up” its efforts to shine a light on the industry in an effort to stop it completely so the “world can focus on this exciting sporting event without having the clouding of the terrible cruelty for dogs raised for meat.”
As for the dogs that recently arrived in the county, “we’re just going to be patient and work with them, and we’re certainly happy to have them here,” NorthropCobb said.
For more information on the Animal Welfare League of Queen Anne’s County, visit www.awlqac.org.
Two jindos and a corgi huddle together at the Animal Welfare League of Queen Anne’s County on Wednesday, March 29, after they were rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm by the Humane Society International.
Suzanne Hogan, executive director of Animal Welfare League of Queen Anne’s County, holds Linda, a shih tzu, who was rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm and brought to the county on Sunday.
A jindo takes a drink of water at the Animal Welfare League of Queen Anne’s County after the organization took in 11 dogs from a South Korean dog meat farm. The animals were rescued by Humane Society International.
Kirstyn Northrop-Cobb, Animal Welfare League of Queen Anne’s County shelter manager, walks Bonnie, a rescued South Korean meat farm dog. The AWL took in 11 dogs after the Humane Society International brought the animals to the United States.