The Humane Society International (HSI) officially shut down another South Korean dog meat farm, the group reported today. The international organization rescued over eighty dogs, including Beemo, a puppy that was just adopted by US Olympic freestyle skier, Gus Kenworthy.
Kenworthy and his partner first met Beemo during a tour of the dog meat farm two weeks ago. The visit was facilitated by HSI, which was already working to put an end to the slaughter at this location. In a press release, Kenworthy said, “We fell in love with Beemo instantly. As soon as I scooped her up in my arms, I knew she was coming to live with us and we cannot wait to give her a wonderful life. It’s so great to see her far away from that horrible cage. But there are millions of dogs still suffering back in South Korea, and if I can help raise awareness about how HSI’s dog farm closure program is working hard to end the entire trade, then I’m happy to do so in honor of Beemo and all these wonderful dogs.”
Backed by the Eric S. Margolis Family Foundation, HSI transported the dogs from South Korea to a rescue facility in Montreal, Canada. The dogs were a mix of breeds, including mastiffs, jindos, Great Pyrenees, golden retrievers, labradors, and huskies. On the farm, the dogs endured subzero temperatures, inadequate care, neglect, and often abuse.
Kenworthy noted, “Visiting the dog meat farm in South Korea was one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve ever done. It really upset me to see these beautiful dogs enduring such horrible, inhumane conditions, and to know that without HSI’s intervention, all of them would eventually end up being killed in really brutal ways to be eaten. I have total respect for South Korea, but I don’t believe we should ever use culture as a scapegoat for animal cruelty.”
Beemo has found a loving home with Kenworthy, and the new family will return to the US this week. The other rescued dogs will be available for adoption once given the proper care and a behavior assessment.
This closure is part of HSI’s ongoing effort to end the dog meat trade. The organization enters into a partnership with dog farm owners and rescues the dogs through a legal contract. HSI also helps the farmers transition to “a new, humane livelihood.” To date, HSI has rescued over thirteen hundred dogs from this industry.
Image Credit: Humane Society International.