They were sold and faced a fate worse than death.
In countries that cherish animals, horrible things still happen everyday to those that are seen as less lovable than others. Even with dogs, who are valued pets and sometimes essential parts of a human’s everyday life, abuse, neglect, abandonment and much more occur often to these helpless animals.
While it’s unfathomable to imagine giving up a dog you’ve called your pet and welcomed into your home, there are worse things happening in other countries that value dogs even less. In South Korea, unwanted pet dogs are often sold to dog meat farms just so the families can pocket a little extra cash.
Two dogs, Lilly and Pinch, were recently sold to the meat industry by their family and left there to be tortured and killed for their meat. The dogs were stuffed into tiny cages, rarely fed, deprived of water, and awaited their certain death. Kelly O’Meara, director of companion animals and engagement at the Humane Society International (HSI), told The Dodo,
“Every day is suffering on these farms because of the daily neglect they take. They’re exposed to all the elements in barren metal cages. They get just enough food to get by. It’s a pretty brutal environment.”
Though most dogs meet their end at these farms, Lilly and Pinch caught a lucky break. The dog meat industry is completely legal in South Korea so rescuing these dogs without having to buy them is difficult, but the particular farm that this pair lived on was on land that the operator didn’t own. About a week after the two dogs arrived at the farm, authorities and rescue organizations were able to take over all 35 dogs that were just days away from dying.
They were given much-needed baths and 31 of them were flown all the way to the U.S. to wait at a North Carolina shelter for their forever home. The shelter not only took in the dogs but addressed all of their medical needs to help them get adopted.
“What we have found is that all of the dogs are just dogs,” O’Meara says. “It doesn’t matter what purpose they’re raised for or where they come from.”
Even better, Lilly and Pinch didn’t let their horrifying past change who they are at heart: lovable, loyal dogs. Their great attitude and willingness to move on helped them get adopted together already!
Humane Society International has been vigilant about going after the dog meat industry in South Korea in any way they can and they have successfully shut down five farms, saving hundreds of dogs up for slaughter in the process. Of the ones that were rescued, 525 of them were flown to the U.S. to get their second chance at life too.
Though this is great news, nearly 3 million dogs are cruelly killed each year for their meat in South Korea alone and each of them is just as scared and worthy of a second chance as the dogs who have been saved. Instead, they are electrocuted, hung, or beaten to death so that people can eat them.
While Lilly and Pinch are not the only dogs to be sold into the industry, many pets end up at farms for various other reasons as well. Those that have run away from home and wind up on the street are snatched up by the industry and dogs are often stolen straight from their homes, never to see their family again.
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