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WASHINGTON―One month after the South Korean government announced a bill to ban the dog meat industry, 27 dogs rescued by Humane Society International from a dog meat farm in South Korea were flown to the United States to find their forever homes. Raspberry, Trudy, Nana, Bruno, Zelda, Roxy, Max, Mia and other dogs from the now-closed farm are settling in and being evaluated at our care and rehabilitation center near Washington D.C.  

Ranging in age from 10 months to nearly three years old, the dogs are now receiving the love and comfort the dog meat industry denied them, including soft beds, nutritious food, toys and enrichment, veterinary care and rehabilitation. After this initial phase, they will be transferred to shelter and rescue partners where they will be prepared for adoption into loving homes.  

Adam Parascandola, vice president of the HSI/HSUS Animal Rescue Team, said: “We are excited to see these dogs start this next chapter of their lives and learn how to be dogs. We are providing everything they need to get them ready to be part of someone’s family. They are undergoing veterinary exams, exploring new exciting smells and sounds, enjoying treats and playing with the people caring for them. Most of these dogs were not even born yet when we arrived, rescued their pregnant moms and closed the dog meat farm, so they were spared the worst conditions and have only known kindness from people like our rescue team. It is going to be a wonderful new year for them.”  
These dogs were fated to be killed for their meat as part of an industry that breeds and slaughters up to 1 million dogs a year for human consumption. They were saved as part of a 200-dog rescue when Humane Society International/Korea worked with the farmer, who wanted to leave dog farming behind him and convert his land into a self-sufficient crop field growing cabbages and other vegetables.

Sangkyung Lee, Humane Society International/Korea’s End Dog Meat campaign manager, helped rescue the dogs and said: “The dog meat farm where these 27 pups came from was a hellish scene. Some 200 dogs were locked in barren, metal cages in squalid conditions thick with feces, many suffering from malnutrition as well as painful skin and eye diseases. Thankfully, most of these 27 dogs were too young to remember the trauma of the farm, and it makes me so happy to know that they will soon be embraced with new names and cherished as loved family members. It’s one month since the South Korean government pledged to ban the dog meat industry, so each one of these dogs symbolises a day that we have waited for political action. We need to get this ban done so that no more dogs have to suffer for a meat that virtually no-one wants to eat.”

Since 2015, HSI’s Models for Change program has helped dog farmers in South Korea transition to new, more humane and profitable livelihoods such as chili plant and parsley growing or water truck delivery. HSI/Korea has permanently closed 18 dog meat farms so far and rescued more than 2,700 dogs who have flown to the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to find homes, with a small number rehomed in South Korea.

HSI’s rescues are conducted in compliance with national and local COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Following removal from farms, dogs were evaluated by a veterinarian. They were vaccinated against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvo virus, parainfluenza, leptospira and canine influenza, and screened for respiratory illness as needed to ensure the health of each animal and comply with international export and import requirements.

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