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January 18, 2017

Lucky escape for eight dogs rescued from South Korean dog meat farm by charity and flown to UK for adoption

200-dog farm closed in same province where 2018 Winter Olympics will take place

Humane Society International/United Kingdom

  • The start of their new lives. HSI/Paul Nicholls

  • Just arrived. HSI/Paul Nicholls


LONDON—A group of eight dogs has arrived safely at Heathrow Airport being saved from their lives of misery on a South Korean dog meat farm. Animal charity Humane Society International rescued them along with 192 more from the facility where they were kept in metal cages with little food or protection from the harsh climate. The dog meat farm, now permanently closed, was located in Gangwon province, the same area where the 2018 Winter Olympics will take place. HSI is calling on the South Korean government to support a phase out of the dog meat trade ahead of the Olympics and an ultimate ban on the trade.

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The eight dogs, soon to be adopted into loving homes, include a golden retriever-cross Bridgette, white Chihuahua Poppet, terrier-cross Rufus, black and white terrier cross Coco, a beagle mother and son pair Sophie and Brent, terrier cross Simona and spaniel collie mix Nina. HSI is working with the All Dogs Matter rehoming centre in north London to find them families and with the Medical Detection Dogs charity in the hope that a couple of dogs may be suitable for their programme to sniff out cancer and other ailments. MDD will assess the dogs at the rehoming centre once they have fully recovered, and if they are not good matches for their programme, they will be placed for adoption too.

Adam Parascandola, HSI’s director of animal protection and crisis response, who assisted in the dog rescue, said: “With the Winter Olympics just over a year away, now is the time for the South Korean government to end the dog meat trade and let the world focus on the country’s preparations for a great sporting event, rather than on the terrible suffering of dogs being raised on farms for a meat few Koreans consume.”

This is the sixth dog meat farm closed by HSI, with a total of 770 dogs rescued so far since the charity began its campaign to end the dog meat trade in South Korea in 2014. The owner of this dog meat farm approached HSI after being urged by her daughter to give up the dog meat business and transition to another line of work. On all the dog operations visited, including this latest one, HSI has found breeds of all kinds, such as cocker spaniels, huskies, beagles and Pyrenees, as well as those more commonly found on meat farms, such as mastiffs and Jindos.

Claire Bass, UK director of HSI said from Heathrow where she greeted the dogs: “It’s such a wonderful feeling to get these dogs out safe and sound, and to know that they are at last free of daily suffering and the threat of being killed and eaten. Despite being denied love and comfort for so long, it’s incredibly touching these dogs still have such great affection for people, and we’re very confident that they’ll make wonderful companions in their happy new homes here in the UK. They’ll also serve as ambassadors for the millions of other dogs still languishing on dog meat farms in South Korea.”

The dogs will now settle in at the All Dogs Matter rehoming centre in north London who will find them happy homes. Ira Moss, All Dogs Matter director said: “All Dogs Matter are truly honoured that we are able to help the dogs that Humane Society International have rescued from South Korea. We look forward to finding them their forever homes and hope to see an end to the horrors of this awful trade.”

HSI has found many operators of dog meat farms in South Korea are eager to leave the trade and transition to new livelihoods. Only a government-led phase out of dog meat farming and consumption could effectively and permanently eliminate the cruel trade. HSI’s successful interventions with dog meat farmers over the last two years clearly show that dog meat farmers are willing to give up their trade if given an alternative.


  • With this latest operation, HSI has helped rescue nearly 800 dogs from dog meat farms in South Korea.
  • Most people in South Korea don’t regularly eat dogs, and the practice is increasingly out of favor with the younger generation.
  • Most people in South Korea never visit a dog meat farm and are unaware of the suffering experienced by the dogs. HSI is keen to dispel the widespread misconception that farmed dogs are somehow different in nature to companion dogs.

How You Can Help

* If you’re interested to adopt one of our South Korean rescues, or any of the dogs and cats at All Dogs Matter, apply online at http://alldogsmatter.co.uk/adopt-a-dog/

*Text ‘WOOF03 £3’ to 70070 to donate £3 to help HSI end the dog meat trade

*Donate dog toys and blankets to All Dogs Matter, South End Farm, Waltham Abbey, EN9 3SE.


Notes to editor

For more information visit hsi.org/dogmeat

B-roll video and photos of the dogs are available here.

Media contacts: HSI (United Kingdom): Wendy Higgins: whiggins@hsi.org, +44 (0)7989 972 423

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