MADISON - More than 200 dogs destined for slaughter on a South Korean farm have been rescued, and many of them have been brought to New Jersey.
The 250 dogs were on a dog meat farm in Wonju, South Korea. They were rescued by the Humane Society and have been arriving in the United States throughout the week. A majority of the dogs were taken in by St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison.
"We have a few huskies jumping on us and playing and we have some that are just taking it in right now,” says St. Hubert's President and CEO Heather Cammisa. “They are a little more reserved."
Most of the dogs did not exhibit any serious health issues, although some were suffering from body sores, worn down teeth and were a little underweight.
Once the dogs have been rescued, the Humane Society helps the South Korean farmers’ transition to a completely different lifestyle. They're given seed money, which can range anywhere from $2,500 to $60,000.
"Many of these farmers are eager to get out of the industry,” says Humane Society International’s Kelly O'Meara. "It's not about pushing them out of an industry and then leaving them high and dry. We do help them transition into something new."
Humane Society International makes the farmers sign contracts that they will no longer farm dogs. They are checked periodically. The society is hoping to make more rescues in the near future.
"There's a misconception in South Korea about what type of dog is raised on these farms and that's partially why we're bringing the dogs here, to show them these dogs are like any other dog,” says O’Meara.
This latest rescue was the fifth farm in South Korean that the Humane Society has shut down.