Twelve dogs rescued from South Korean backyard dog meat facility

Dogs found chained and living in filth; they are now at the Idaho Humane Society, where they will be placed for adoption

Humane Society International

  • One of the dogs rescued looks outside from a crate at a cargo terminal at the Seoul Incheon Airport. Jean Chung/HSI

  • HSI’s Adam Parascandola frees a dog from the dog meat trade. Jean Chung/HSI

  • HSI’s Nara Kim with a dog who is about to be rescued. Jean Chung/HSI

  • This is where the dogs lived. Jean Chung/HSI

  • A collar with a chain left behind. Jean Chung/HSI

A group of 12 dogs arrived safely after having been rescued by Humane Society International from a backyard breeding operation for the dog meat trade in Seongnam, South Korea. The Idaho Humane Society, a Humane Society of the United States Emergency Placement Partner, will place the dogs for adoption. They were transported to Boise with the help of Dog is My CoPilot, Inc., a non-profit animal rescue air transportation organization.
HSI rescuers found the dogs living in filthy conditions, chained to cages with little space to move. The owner of the property bred the dogs to supply a nearby dog meat market.

HSI rescued 14 dogs from the property but one pregnant dog gave birth and will remain at a boarding facility with her two pups are until they can travel at a later date. One other dog will be placed for adoption with the San Francisco SPCA.

Kelly O’Meara, director of companion animals and engagement with HSI, said: “These dogs are in desperate need of a second chance, and we know the people of Boise will give them the love and care they were deprived of since they were born. We found them in chains, living in filth and isolated. The breeder, who was raising them in his backyard, gave them up to us because the dog meat business in South Korea is dying. This is a good sign but we still have a long way to go to eliminate the dog meat trade in Korea.”

With your support, we can help these dogs and other animals. Please donate today.

Since 2014, HSI has rescued 839 dogs in South Korea, mainly from the country’s dog farms, closing seven farms to date. HSI has found that many dog meat farmers in South Korea are eager to leave the trade and transition to new livelihoods. Most people in South Korea don’t regularly eat dogs, and the practice is increasingly out of favor with the younger generation.

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.

When asked about the rescue flight, president of and pilot for Dog Is My CoPilot, Peter E Rork, M.D. said, “When we heard of this situation, we juggled our already busy rescue flight schedule to accommodate this transport need. We are always happy to help, but especially in such an egregious situation such as this.”    

“The Treasure Valley is an amazing pet-loving community,” said Idaho Humane Society CEO Jeff Rosenthal. “We’re blessed with abundant adoptions and thus have the resources available to not only help local pets but increasingly those from overcrowded regional shelters as well as those suffering in difficult situations elsewhere. We are very excited to find loving homes for these dogs that deserve a fresh start after tragic beginnings.”

Last March, U.S. Representatives Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Dave Trott, R-Mich. and Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., introduced the Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act of 2017, to ban the dog and cat meat trade in the United States. The legislation also serves as an expression of solidarity with animal activists in Asia, including South Korea, who are fighting the gruesome trade.

How You Can Help

* If you are interested in adopting one of our South Korean rescues, or any of the dogs and cats at Idaho Humane Society, visit
* If you are interested in supporting other animal rescue flights, visit

For more information about HSI’s work to end the dog meat trade in Asia, visit

Media contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras,, +1 301-721-6440

Learn More Button Inserter