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December 12, 2017

Dogs saved from certain death on a South Korean dog meat farm arrive in Canada

After arriving in Toronto, 50 rescued dogs headed for shelters and rescue groups—and ultimately forever homes—in Quebec and Ontario

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Ready to leave the farm. Michael Bernard/HSI Canada

  • A dog already getting comfortable with an HSI/Canada rescuer. Michael Bernard/HSI Canada

  • Ready for their rescue. Michael Bernard/HSI Canada


Following its 10th closure of a South Korean dog meat farm, Humane Society International is transporting more than 170 severely neglected dogs to North America and the United Kingdom. Forty six of the dogs have arrived at Pearson Airport in Toronto and HSI/Canada is now moving them to partner shelters in Quebec. Another four of the rescued dogs will arrive tomorrow and are being placed with an Ontario rescue group.

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI/Canada, said: “This horrific dog meat farm is one of the worst HSI has ever seen and I am thrilled we are shutting it down for good. More than 170 dogs and puppies were intensively confined in cramped, filthy, barren wire cages positioned over months of accumulated waste. The dogs had no protection from the freezing temperatures. Many had open sores on their bodies and were severely emaciated because they received little food or water. These dogs have been spared a lifetime of misery and a brutal death at the hands of the dog meat trade. This holiday season, we are asking Canadians to open their hearts and their homes to these dogs and to stand with Humane Society International as we work to end the cruel dog meat trade forever.”

Ewa Demianowicz, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada, said: “I’ve just returned from South Korea and the conditions at this dog meat farm were appalling. These poor dogs were confined in cramped, barren wire cages with little food and water and no protection from the elements. Mother dogs were there for years, forced to bear litter after litter of pups, only to have them stolen away to be slaughtered. The dogs are emaciated and covered in open sores, and they are in urgent need of veterinary treatment, proper nutrition and love. We are so happy that they will receive that care here in Quebec and that many of the dogs could be in forever homes in time for the holidays.”

Eric Margolis, whose compassion and generosity helped make this rescue possible, said, "I was heartbroken to see the suffering these dogs endured on this horrific dog meat farm. As an animal lover, I felt compelled to do everything in my power to save them from the terrible conditions they were living in, and the gruesome fate that awaited them. It is wonderful to know that these dogs will soon be safe at last in loving homes."

Protect dogs and cats in South Korea.

“For the second consecutive year, the Montreal SPCA is pleased to assist HSI/Canada with this important rescue. Our team is eager to meet these dogs and provide them with all the care and individual attention they require. We are relieved that they will soon be placed in loving homes, where they will get the chance to live happy and healthy lives,” said Élise Desaulniers, executive director of the Montreal SPCA. “The dogs will be settling in at the Montreal SPCA where canine behaviour experts, veterinarians and staff will care for them. Many of the dogs are timid and will be seeking patient and calm adoptive families to help them adjust to their new lives. They will become available for adoption December 18 at noon.”

Marie-Josée Roy, director general of the SPA Arthabaska, said: “It is moving and rewarding to make a difference in the lives of these dogs, helping them heal and prepare for a better life ahead with a loving forever family. Collaborating with an international organization to save animals allows us to do our part from this corner of the world. We do what we can, and we do it for them!”

Corinne Gonzalez, director general of the SPCA Laurentides-Labelle, said: “We are so moved to be participating in this rescue, and to give such wonderful animals a new life. We are very confident that we will find loving families who will help these dogs recover from such deplorable conditions.”

The dog meat trade is most widespread in China, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Viet Nam, Cambodia and Nagaland in northern India. It is well-organized, with dogs being stolen or taken from the streets, transported over long distances, housed in gruesome conditions and brutally slaughtered. In South Korea, an estimated 2.5 million dogs are slaughtered for the meat trade annually.

As a part of our campaign to ban the dog meat trade in South Korea, HSI works to transition dog meat farmers to more humane industries and transports the dogs to regions where they can receive care and rehabilitation.

A special thank you to Eric Margolis, Etienne Borgeat and Friends of HSI for their tremendous contributions to this rescue, Sharp Transportation for donating space for the temporary shelter and Kane Veterinary Supplies for donating dog food. We are deeply grateful to our temporary shelter workers and volunteers and to the Montreal SPCA, the Laurentides-Labelle SPCA, the Arthabaska Society for the Protection of Animals, and Carter’s Forever Rescue and Sanctuary in Muskoka for their kind assistance in caring for and placing these deserving dogs in forever homes. 

Media Contact: Christopher Paré, 514 395-2914 x 206, cpare@hsi.org

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