Meat farm dogs find sec­ond lives with fam­i­lies

The Welland Tribune - - Local - KARENA WAL­TER Karena.Wal­ter@ni­a­garadailies.com 905-225-1628 | @kare­na_­s­tan­dard

Al­most all of the Korean dogs res­cued from a meat farm and placed up for adop­tion in St. Catharines have found per­ma­nent homes in just one week.

Lin­coln County Hu­mane So­ci­ety said 15 of the 17 ca­nines have been adopted from the Fourth Av­enue shel­ter by dog lovers across On­tario.

“They went su­per fast,” said Kevin Strooband, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the hu­mane so­ci­ety, adding it was some­what sur­pris­ing be­cause of their chal­lenges and sizes.

“We’ve had cases in the past where we’ve had pup­pies or small-breed dogs and we get a lot of in­ter­est. Gen­er­ally not so much for big­ger, medium-sized to large dogs, so it’s pos­i­tive to see that peo­ple have come out in droves to sup­port our ef­forts.”

The 17 dogs were among 200 var­i­ous mixed breeds that were res­cued from a dog meat farm in Namyangju, South Korea, by Hu­mane So­ci­ety In­ter­na­tional with fi­nan­cial help from re­al­ity show judge and mu­sic pro­ducer Si­mon Cow­ell.

The dogs were sent to emer­gency shel­ters in Canada, the United States, the United King­dom and the Nether­lands. Lin­coln County Hu­mane So­ci­ety picked up 17 of the dogs from a tem­po­rary shel­ter in Cam­bridge on Oct. 11 and an­nounced on Oct. 31 they were ready for adop­tion.

The dogs hadn’t ex­pe­ri­enced a lot of in­ter­ac­tion with hu­mans and re­quired so­cial­iza­tion.

Court­ney We­ly­chka, se­nior an­i­mal care tech­ni­cian at the lo­cal hu­mane so­ci­ety, said Thurs­day the dogs have been adapt­ing to their new en­vi­ron­ment quickly. When they first ar­rived at the shel­ter, they couldn’t be leashed and had to be car­ried into the ken­nels.

“They would flip and flop on the leash, not want to walk and be on two legs,” she said. “Now they’re walk­ing on a leash and they’re run­ning. They’re ac­cept­ing pets. They’ve re­ally, re­ally opened up to the vol­un­teers es­pe­cially and the staff.”

Peo­ple have come into the shel­ter from as far away as Mis­sis­sauga ask­ing about the dogs res­cued from the meat trade. We­ly­chka said al­though many of the dogs aren’t house trained and need work on so­cial­iza­tion, the adopters didn’t seem to be both­ered by it.

“They’re still ab­so­lutely in­ter­ested and they’re will­ing to put the work in, so it’s been re­ally nice.”

Two Korean dogs are still wait­ing for homes — Suzi and Mar­cel.

We­ly­chka said Suzi is the most so­cial­ized of all the dogs that came in. Af­ter be­ing res­cued from the farm, she lived in a fos­ter home in Korea for a time be­cause she was too small to travel. She’s a 10month-old, black and tan small shep­herd mix.

Mar­cel was the largest dog of the group, a one-year-old red shep­herd-type that must be in a home with no kids un­der 14 and no cats. As well, all of the Korean dogs need fenced-yard homes be­cause they are skit­tish and can bolt.

The lo­cal hu­mane so­ci­ety has 30 dogs in its ken­nel, so there are many non-Korean dogs avail­able to adopt, too.

“As we al­ways do, we en­cour­age peo­ple to keep look­ing at the dogs we do have be­cause they’re also great dogs,” Strooband said.

The dog meat farm in Namyangju was the 13th in South Korea shut down by Hu­mane So­ci­ety In­ter­na­tional.

The agency has been work­ing to end the dog meat trade through­out Asia, re­port­ing the dogs suf­fer due to con­di­tions on the farms and are slaugh­tered in a bru­tal man­ner. It works with dog meat farm­ers to help them tran­si­tion into new trades, such as grow­ing mush­rooms or chiles.

JULIE JOCSAK THE ST. CATHARINES STAN­DARD

Davita De­bruyne spends some time re­cently with Ce­line, a 10-month-old Spitz mix, one of the dogs res­cued from South Korea and brought to Lin­coln County Hu­mane So­ci­ety.

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