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Dogs saved from South Korean meat farm come to Utah

SALT LAKE COUNTY –  It’s a different kind of “rescue dog.”  Officials from The Humane Society of Utah have taken in eight dogs that were originally intended to be used as food in South Korea.

The dogs were taken from a dog meat farm roughly two hours away from PyeongChang.  Officials from Humane Society International say 170 dogs were starving, in deplorable conditions and had no contact with humans, whatsoever.  Humane Society of Utah Communications Director DeAnn Shepherd says, “They sent them to emergency placement partners in Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Utah. We received eight of the dogs, and they’re in better shape than we expected.”

They’re fine physically, but, Shepherd says they still have serious behavioral issues because of how they were kept in cages, away from people.  “The dogs we have are anywhere from ten months to two years old.  They usually don’t live past that,” she says. So, the adoption process for these dogs will be extensive so they can ensure they’re placed in the right kind of home.

Humane Society International officials say there are still over 17 thousand dog meat farms in South Korea, which breed more than 2.5 million dogs for human consumption.  However, there is a growing movement to stop eating dog meat, there.  Shepherd says, “Younger South Koreans, as they’re growing up and realizing that this isn’t the best thing to do for dogs, are against it, as well.”

Even the dog farmer has made a change.  “He is now using his property to become a vegetable farmer,” according to Shepherd.