Just one month ago a dog meat farm an hour south of Seoul, South Korea was the end of the line for nearly 100 caged and chained animals.
They were surrendered by the farmer, who was previously selling the canines to restaurants for their meat.
In February, Global News reported that the majority of the animals would be rescued by Canadians with the help of Humane Society International Canada (HSI Canada).
This week, after a long and for some, terrifying, transatlantic flight, the approximately 80 dogs arrived in Toronto Tuesday and were then transported to Montreal, where they’re being prepared for adoption.
Olympic medalist Megan Duhamel came to meet the dogs and raise awareness about the controversial trade that she knows all too well.
In February 2017, she adopted a dog, Mootai, from South Korea.
It’s estimated there are 2.5 million dogs on 17,000 dog meat farms in South Korea.
“In Korea it’s legal, and you’re allowed to do this,” Duhamel told Global News.
“We won’t see a change until the (South Korean) government makes it illegal.”
U.S. Olympian Gus Kenworthy is also adopting one of the puppies, and tweeted about his trip to Montreal to pick up his pup.
The latest rescued animals are now getting the care they’ve never received before from veterinarians and owners, and are facing new challenges well, such as eating regularly, says HSI Canada’s Jackie Wright.
“They’re eating food very well. They’ve never had food like this before. And they’re drinking quite well out of water bowls, which is not always expected. Sometimes they have a hard time with that because they weren’t fed or offered water in the same way as us,” Wright said.
The animals will also be socialized with humans before adopting.
HSI Canada’s Mary-Helen Paspaliaris said, in the past, contact with humans was not always positive.
This is the 11th farm the organization has shut down in South Korea.
For information on adopting and donating to the rescue effort, contact HSI Canada.