Skin, bones, cannibalism: Dogs rescued from South Korean meat farm head to Montreal to find forever homes
MONTREAL -- Warning: this article contains images that some may find disturbing.
More dogs from a South Korean meat farm will make their way to Montreal in the coming weeks to eventually be adopted into forever homes.
With assistance from the international branch of the Humane Society (HSI), a Korean animal welfare group called LIFE rescued around 100 dogs from an illegal farm in Gimpo, 20 of which will be sent to HSI’s shelter outside of Montreal once they’ve received emergency care.
Though HSI has led and assisted similar rescue efforts in the past, this one was particularly gruesome, they said. Some of the dogs – including breeds like poodles, chihuahuas, Pomeranians and schnauzers – were so hungry that they resorted to cannibalism, having been caged with corpses of other dogs that likely starved to death.
According to an HSI news release, the farm’s owner had been illegally operating on the land – that it describes as a junkyard – for more than 10 years. LIFE negotiated the farm’s closure, and officials are now investigating in the goal of potentially bringing charges for animal cruelty.
“When I first visited the dog farm, it was too shocked to take in what I was seeing,” said Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s campaign manager, in the release. “I have rescued thousands of dogs from many dog meat farms in South Korea, but this place was like hell.”
Kim said several of the dogs were skin and bone and that they likely wouldn’t have lasted another day on the farm had the groups not stepped in.
“I was so afraid their fragile bones might break when I lifted them out of their cages, so I was just really slow and gentle,” Kim continued. “Hardly any of them had the energy to struggle anyway.”
In addition to the dogs found dead and alive in cages, HSI said others were found frozen in a freezer on the property.
“This is a really shocking example of a common problem here in South Korea, where dogs are bred in the worst conditions to maximize profits,” said In-Seob Sim, the president of LIFE, also in the release. “It’s time for South Korean society to impose controls on the breeding of dogs for sale.”
Sim added that the farms are used for both pet shop puppies and the sale of dog meat.
“If we can change our behaviour, we can change the fate of these dogs.”
The dogs will be cared for and rehabilitated before being adopted out to their forever homes. Anyone who is interested in adopting one of the dogs can consult a list of partner shelters on HSI's website.