Seventy-one dogs arrived in Montreal Friday after being rescued from slaughter on a dog meat farm in South Korea.

They'll now receive care from veterinarians at an emergency dog shelter in Cote-des-Neiges and soon be up for adoption.

“These dogs have come from the worst place imaginable,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of the Humane Society International Canada. “These dogs are getting a second chance, which they really deserve.”

It was a long journey for the animals.

They were in Cambridge, Ont. for two days after the flight from South Korea. In total, 200 dogs were brought to Canada in a rescue made possible by TV host and producer Simon Cowell, who donated $42,000 to make it happen.

Pit bull mix Sophia was found two months ago by animal rescuer Eva Demianowicz.

“She really stood out. She was in the middle of a row, so a very dark row with dogs on each side with very dirty, dirty cages as they always are on dog meat farms,” she said.

Some of the animals are traumatized and volunteers have to gently guide the dogs into their new cages.

Come daytime, they'll get multiple walks and playtime to roam around, spending up to two months at the shelter being rehabilitated and getting veterinary care that started in South Korea.

“When we first arrived at the farm, these dogs were severely emaciated. Many had eye infections, skin infections, injuries, so they required immediate treatment on the farm,” said Aldworth.

Once the animals are evaluated, vaccinated and healthy, they will be given to a placement group or shelter willing to take them in and find a perfect family for them.

The rescue means the 13th dog meat farm has been closed in South Korea by the Humane Society International – though it’s only a drop in the bucket compared to the 17,000 that still operate there. 

Still, the HSI is proud of the rescue operation.

“Seeing the empty cages, seeing the farm completely empty and knowing that each and every one of those dogs is here now with us and safe – this is rewarding work that we can all be proud of doing,” said Demianowicz.