Pups rescued from dog meat farm get first 'cuddle and kiss of their lives'
About two million dogs are slaughtered and eaten in South Korea every year
More than 50 dogs have been rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm and brought to the San Francisco Bay Area to start new lives.
Humane Society International officials say the last 13 dogs were brought Thursday to the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Humane Society International's dog-loving crew members were very public about the rescue, posting video, tweets and a press release.
“Some of these dogs were in a terrible state, starved of love ... living in fear & deprivation." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KoreaDogs?src=hash">#KoreaDogs</a> <a href="http://t.co/BxwYF1uRLX">pic.twitter.com/BxwYF1uRLX</a>—@HSIGlobal
The dogs are mostly in good condition. They were rescued from overseas farms under a program that works with farm owners to remove the dogs and teach the farmer how to crop farm instead.
The international group will work with animal rescue groups in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento to find the dogs homes.
About two million dogs are slaughtered and eaten in South Korea every year. The recent group of rescued dogs includes poodles, beagles and Korean Jindos of varying sizes.
57 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KoreaDogs?src=hash">#KoreaDogs</a> flown to San Francisco to be evaluated & treated for medical issues at <a href="https://twitter.com/sfspca">@sfspca</a>. More updates to come. <a href="http://t.co/n4bGeeLo4N">pic.twitter.com/n4bGeeLo4N</a>—@HSIGlobal
Since dogs are domesticated across so much of the planet, dog meat farms come under more intense scrutiny than your run of the mill cattle or pig farm. Plus, puppies are adorable, which puts them ahead of the curve in the race to be rescued.
Westerners have an emotional connection to dogs, we view them as pets. So the idea of raising them for food horrifies a lot of people.
But, it is Western pressure that has forced the sizeable South Korean dog meat industry underground, says Stefan Gates, a food writer who travelled to South Korea to get an inside look at the trade.
We're unloading the last flight of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KoreaDogs?src=hash">#KoreaDogs</a>. Can't wait to find this cutie a home. <a href="http://t.co/OH9wUfosqt">http://t.co/OH9wUfosqt</a> <a href="http://t.co/ovZxfF2NGF">pic.twitter.com/ovZxfF2NGF</a>—@sfspca
"Dog meat is a nationalistic issue. It's like taking a gun away from an American. You take dog meat away from a South Korean and they say, 'Wait a minute, this is a deeply entrenched part of my culture. Who are you to break this connection?'"
With files from The Associated Press