Shutting down a dog meat farm
Farm Closure Updates and FAQs
Our Animal Rescue Team shut down a dog meat farm in Haemi, South Korea, where 170+ dogs were suffering, fated to be slaughtered for their meat. Please donate to help us care for these dogs and get them into new homes, transition other farms away from this sad industry, and fight animal cruelty worldwide.
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December 3, 2020:
PLAYTIME! See a video filmed at our temporary shelter facility, where dogs rescued from South Korea’s meat trade are learning how to play and interact with other dogs, bringing them one step closer to being adopted into loving homes! Watch now.
November 5, 2020:
HELP. The rescue of 170+ dogs from a South Korean dog meat farm is complete, but our work is far from over. The dogs in our temporary shelter need urgent care, veterinary treatment, behavioral therapy, food, and much more before they will be ready for adoption.
Please, DONATE to help care for these dogs, who need it the most, and support our lifesaving work for ALL animals worldwide. Give now.
November 3, 2020:
Kongs! Walks! Cuddles! Rescued dogs at our temporary shelter facility in the U.S. are experiencing many firsts! Watch a video.
November 2, 2020:
The majority of dogs YOU helped us rescue from a South Korean dog meat farm are continuing to receive care at our temporary shelter in the U.S. Those ready for adoption have been transported to our Shelter and Rescue Partners, and some will be heading for Canada.
These next few weeks will mark many firsts for them. From having a steady supply of fresh food and water, to receiving veterinary care, to experiencing love and compassion. See photos.
UPDATE October 29, 2020:
Sweet Jo was isolated in a dingy, cement block room with no comfort in sight when we found her on the farm. Once saved, Jo was transported to our Shelter and Rescue Partner, Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, where she finally felt safe enough to give birth, in a warm and comfortable place, to seven puppies! See photos.
UPDATE October 27, 2020:
Live from our temporary shelter: Meet some of the dogs YOU helped us rescue from the South Korean dog meat trade. See a video.
UPDATE October 26, 2020:
Sweet, gentle Lou—forced to have puppies over and over again—was the last dog removed from Farm 17. See a video.
UPDATE October 23, 2020:
THE DOGS HAVE ARRIVED!! Thanks to your incredible generosity and support, 170+ dogs saved from a South Korean dog meat farm, completed their flight to freedom and landed safely in the U.S. See their journey and their arrival.
UPDATE October 22, 2020:
Closed FOREVER!! More than 170 dogs have now been rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm, and the farm has been shut down for good! A huge THANK YOU to everyone who donated to help save these dogs’ lives, and support our lifesaving work. YOU are a part of their journey to new, wonderful homes! See photos and video.
UPDATE October 21, 2020:
We found Coyah living at the end of this short chain, her only source of shelter being a makeshift doghouse made of scraps. Although Coyah has only known neglect, she still trustfully lays down for belly rubs. Soon, this gentle girl will have the life she so desperately deserves. See a video.
UPDATE October 20, 2020:
Sweet Honey gave birth in one of the cruelest places imaginable, a South Korean dog meat farm. Thanks to your generous support, Honey and her tiny puppy will soon be safe and far, far away from this heartless place. See a video.
UPDATE October 19, 2020:
UPDATE October 15, 2020:
HSI’s Animal Rescue Team is quarantining in South Korea in anticipation of saving 170+ dogs trapped on this dog meat farm. See a video.
UPDATE October 9, 2020:
Our local HSI/Korea dog meat campaign manager, Nara Kim, visited the farm to look in on the dogs. We are working closely with the farmer and are negotiating the closure of the farm. The dogs have now been vaccinated and given health checks by a veterinarian.
UPDATE October 2, 2020:
We have had food delivered to the farm to give a boost in nutrition and ensure no dog goes hungry.
UPDATE September 28, 2020:
This farm houses many pregnant dogs and dogs with mange. They’re locked in cages or chained up, some standing in mud.
This and Past Rescues
1. Who is HSI?
One of the world’s leading animal protection charities, we are active in more than 50 countries, driving positive change for animals for almost 30 years. HSI is approved by the Better Business Bureau for all 20 standards for charity accountability. Through our rescue efforts, disaster response, veterinary clinics, and our work empowering local organizations, we serve a critical and expanding role in tackling animal suffering all over the world.
2. How is eating dog meat any different from eating cows, chickens, or other animals? Isn't this just a cultural thing?
HSI campaigns globally to address the cruelty related to the use of all animals for food, including cows, pigs and chickens. We expose and challenge farm animal suffering around the world, and through our Meatless Mondays campaign and Forward Food plant-based culinary training, we help individual consumers as well as huge corporations and catering companies, to reduce and replace meat and dairy. Our work in 2019 alone impacted 2.5 million meals globally. In countries like Indonesia and South Korea right now, there are undeniable socio-political circumstances in favor of ending the dog meat trade, and as campaigners, we cannot ignore the opportunity this creates to end the suffering for millions of animals.
Most people in South Korea do not regularly eat dog, and local opposition to the dog meat trade is increasing apace. So it’s important not to misrepresent this as a West versus East issue because that does an enormous disservice to the extremely vibrant campaign by South Koreans themselves for an end to the dog meat trade. In fact, the very idea that dog meat is “culture” is being robustly challenged by young South Korean themselves who find that concept insulting and demeaning, and who want a new culture of compassion. Change is coming from within South Korea and HSI supports that change, actively partnering with South Korean animal protection groups and working cooperatively with local campaigners.
We know that oftentimes, people relate more to dogs and cats because they have them as companions in their homes. But we also know that because of that human-animal bond, our dog meat campaign can motivate people to think about other animals like pigs, cows and chickens who also suffer for the food industry, and that can push people to make more compassionate food choices overall.
3. What happens to the dog meat farmer/farm; are they just going to open another farm?
HSI develops a legally binding agreement with each farmer to permanently close their dog farm and have the cages destroyed. That contract with the farmer also ensures they will never return to farming dogs or any other animals in the future. We develop a business plan with them to help them transition to a humane livelihood.
4. How can I adopt one of the dogs?
The dogs we rescue from South Korea are transported to Shelter and Rescue Partners in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., which then facilitate the adoptions after assessing and addressing any health or behavioral concerns. We have a network of Shelter and Rescue Partners and they may not be the same for each farm closure. Information on Shelter and Rescue Partners is available here. We’ll be adding more Partners in the U.S. and Canada to this list in the coming weeks. We ask that those interested in adoption contact the Shelter and Rescue Partners directly to find out how to meet the dogs and apply to adopt.
Shutting down a dog meat farm and bringing the dogs to safety in compliance with local and international law is a huge undertaking that requires substantial funding, planning and coordination. Thank you for your patience.
If you do adopt (or have adopted) a South Korea rescue dog, please tag us in a photo @hsiglobal on Facebook and Instagram!
5. Why do you transport the dogs overseas instead of adopting them out locally in South Korea?
Unfortunately, animal adoption isn’t common in South Korea. There are very few shelters, most of which are already overcrowded. In addition, there is a misconception among Koreans—perpetuated by dog meat traders—that “meat dogs” found on farms are somehow different from “pet dogs.” HSI is slowly changing this perspective by showcasing the countless adoptions of former meat dogs into loving families in the U.K., U.S. and Canada, and we hope to help encourage more of an adoption culture over time.
6. What about dogs in U.S. shelters and other countries who need homes?
The compelling and very sad stories of the Korean dogs help to increase awareness of the good work that local animal shelters do and the help they offer to all homeless dogs and cats in need. The Korean dogs’ story brings people to the shelters to adopt, but in many cases, people walk away with other dogs from the shelter. Overall adoption goes up in these shelters of all dogs awaiting adoption, despite the initial interest in just the specific dogs with a story.
7. Other than farm closures, what else is HSI doing to end the dog meat trade?
We have a full and active campaign to end the dog meat trade across Asia that sees us work primarily in South Korea, China and Indonesia. We work closely with local governments, animal welfare organizations, media and celebrities to increase public awareness about key issues such as animal cruelty and threats to human health from the trade.
Within Indonesia, as part of the Dog Meat-Free Indonesia coalition, we have exposed the horrific cruelty of the trade including at live animal markets in North Sulawesi, and are actively working with local governments to crack down on the trade. Our ultimate goal is an Indonesia-wide ban.
In China, HSI is supporting numerous local animal welfare organizations in addressing the dog meat trade within their own country. Since August 2014, our partner groups have assisted the rescue of thousands of dogs and cats across China from large transport vehicles carrying hundreds of captured dogs in crowded cages to their deaths at slaughterhouses. Together with our partner groups Vshine and CAWA, we support two shelters in Dalian and Beijing where animal victims of the dog and cat meat trade can receive veterinary treatment and care.
In South Korea, our dog meat farm closures make the news headlines, helping expose the truth behind the trade and dispelling a strong misconception that there is a difference between a “pet dog” and a “meat dog.” All breeds are found on the farms and every one of them suffers the same and has the same capacity to be a loving, family companion when given the opportunity. Our farm closure models directly display a program that can be adopted by the Korean government to put an end to the trade for good. We’re optimistic that we can shut down this industry in South Korea and beyond within the next 10 years.
HSI is also an active member of the Asia Canine Protection Alliance, through which we are collaborating with local governments throughout Southeast Asia to implement or strengthen regulations to end the trade, raise awareness about the human health threats from the trade, and promoting humane dog management strategies and responsible companion animal care.
To learn more about our end dog meat campaign, visit hsi.org/dogmeat.
8. Why can't the person taking the pictures rescue the dogs / Why does it take so long?
The farmers allow our team to take photos of the dogs on the farm as part of our efforts to raise enough funds to shut down the farm, and they also allow us access at the same time to provide vaccinations required for the dogs’ travel. Shutting down the farm and bringing the dogs to safety in compliance with local and international law is a huge undertaking that requires substantial funding, planning and coordination, not least to find shelter partners in the receiving countries able to accommodate large volumes of dogs from overseas. Once identified, we assist the farmer with making improvements to the dogs’ living conditions. We perform random inspections to make sure the dogs are safe and well-fed, and that injuries and illnesses are being treated until we’ve established a concrete plan to transport the dogs to our Shelter and Rescue Partners.
9. What are you doing to prevent these dogs from bringing diseases into the U.S. and other countries?
HSI goes above and beyond the legal requirements for bringing dogs into the U.S. and other countries. Once a farm is secured, HSI staff visit with our Korean veterinarian and provide rabies, DHPP, canine coronavirus and canine influenza vaccinations, along with microchipping. We also test for the presence of canine influenza and provide deworming. Additionally, the farm is closed during this time so no new dogs come into the property and no dogs leave, except those requiring extra care, who are transferred to a different facility. This occurs for a minimum of 30 days prior to removal. During the 30-day period, our staff in Korea stays in contact with the farmer and visits the farm, taking out any animals that appear to need veterinary care. After the 30 days are up, the process for flying the animals out begins. At this time, the dogs are transported to either our temporary shelter or directly to our partner shelters and rescues. Upon arrival in the U.S. or Canada, the dogs are further tested for heartworm and tick-borne diseases and are given booster vaccines, bordetella and further deworming, as well as further examination by a veterinarian before a determination is made regarding readiness for adoption.
10. Can I volunteer on the farm / Other than making a donation, how can I help?
Although we always appreciate the offer, we have a well-trained and experienced animal rescue team that specializes in the handling methods for dogs from these farms and similar situations, and for this reason we’re unable to accept the generous offers of volunteers to help with the South Korea rescues.
If you are unable to donate at this time, please know how important and appreciated your advocacy is to our organization. Please like our Facebook page, continue to sign our petitions, and share our posts on social media to participate in our collective effort to achieve change for animals.
As far as general ways to help, that anybody, in any location can do, please see our web page: 25 Actions to Help Animals and HSI.
11. How are my donations being used?
We are very careful in spending donations from our generous donors. We are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and score consistently high rankings across charity review sites. 85% of our funds go toward lifesaving animal protection programs, 10% toward fundraising and 5% toward administrative costs.