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 and the suffering of dogs for the meat trade in Asia is just another among this wider campaign. We don't believe that animal cruelty can ever be excused as culture, and indeed in South Korea most people do not regularly eat dog. There is a growing and vocal local Korean opposition to the dog meat trade, and HSI is proud to work alongside our Korean partners to support their work. Our dog meat campaigns emphasize culturally sensitive solutions to animal welfare concerns.
What happens to the dog meat farmer/farm; are they just going to open another farm?
When we reach an agreement with the farmer, the farm is shut down permanently and the cages are destroyed. We sign a legally-binding contract with the farmer to ensure they will never return to farming dogs or any other animals. We develop a business plan with them to help them transition to a humane livelihood. HSI has shut down 13 dog meat farms in South Korea, so far.
How can I adopt one of the dogs?
The dogs we rescue from South Korea are transported to Shelter and Rescue Partner shelters in the U.S., UK, and Canada—who then facilitate the adoptions after assessing and addressing any health or behavioral concerns.
Please stay tuned for a full list of Shelter and Rescue Partner shelters in the coming days/weeks here: hsicanada.ca/savedogs
**Update 1/31: (Numbers are not final, and subject to change)
80-90 dogs are going to Shelter and Rescue Partners in the United States
80-100 dogs are going to our temporary shelter facility in Montreal, Canada
If you do adopt (or have adopted) a South Korea rescue dog, please tag us in a photo @hsiglobal on Facebook and Instagram!
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 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 UK, US, and Canada.
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, Indonesia, and India. 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.
With our partners in the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA), we have helped implement a 5-year ban on the cross border trade of dogs for meat between Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia. Within Indonesia, we partnered with other groups to form the Dog Meat-Free Indonesia coalition through which we have exposed the horrific cruelty of the trade including at live animal markets in North Sulawesi.
In China, HSI is guiding and 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 more than 7,000 dogs across China from large transport vehicles carrying hundreds of captured dogs in crowded cages to their deaths at slaughterhouses.
In South Korea, our work is helping bring animal welfare groups and politicians together for the first time to discuss a viable solution to ending dog meat consumption-a topic so taboo that a meeting like this would have been impossible only a few short years ago. In addition to saving the animals, the dog meat farm closures expose the truth behind the trade, and dispel a strong misconception in South Korea 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 suffer the same and have 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.
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 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 heavy funding, planning, and coordination. 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, fed, and injuries and illnesses are being treated until we’ve established a concrete plan to transport the dogs to our Emergency Placement Partner shelters.
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.
However, if you live in Montreal, Canada we do have a need for volunteers at the temporary shelter facility. Please visit hsicanada.ca/savedogs (English) or hsicanada.ca/chiens (French) to learn more.
If you are unable to donate at this time, please know how important and appreciated your advocacy is to our organization. Please like our 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
Why are there so many purebred/designer dogs on this dog meat farm?
This dog meat farm also operates as a puppy mill, which is a common practice in South Korea. Sadly, many of puppies born on these types of farms end up being sold to slaughterhouses or dog meat traders at around one year of age.
Additionally, a significant number of the dogs on dog meat farms are abandoned pets. On every one of the 13 dog meat farms that HSI has closed so far, we have found several former pets still wearing their collars. Farmers often tell us of dogs being abandoned on their doorstep overnight.
Contrary to popular belief in South Korea, all breeds of dogs can be found on dog meat farms including pure breeds known in the country as ‘pet’ breeds such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Huskies, Poodles etc. Currently in South Korea, the practice of dog adoption is not well accepted, particularly for large-size dogs. There are very few shelters, and the ones that do exist are overcrowded. One of our major efforts in our End Dog Meat campaign is to foster an adoption culture within South Korea.
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, from ending the cruel dog meat trade to fighting egregious forms of wildlife abuse. Your generous donations help us continue to shut down farms in South Korea, assist farmers as they transition to humane livelihoods, support our local Chinese partners in intercepting dog meat traders’ trucks, fund the care of confiscated and rescued animals, and so much more. Through our rescue efforts, disaster response, veterinary clinics, and our work empowering local organizations, we serve a critical and expanding role in reducing animal suffering around the world. Only 10% goes toward fundraising and 5% for administrative costs.