TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Fourteen dogs flew to Tampa on Friday after being rescued from breeders in South Korea, who were breeding them for their meat.
Ten of the dogs will be arriving at Humane Society Tampa Bay Friday night and another 4 others will arrive on Sunday.
They lived at the meat farm in Wonju, South Korea in deplorable conditions with little or no medical care. Food was considered more of a luxury rather than a necessity.
“They hang them,” Sherry Silk of Humane Society Tampa Bay. “They electrocute them and then they slice them up. It’s awful.”
Rescuers with Humane Society International (HSI) transported 200 dogs in all.
The dogs are bred for their meat and that brings in a pretty penny in countries like South Korea, China and Vietnam. But now, there’s a cultural shift with people realizing the animals’ lives are worth more than just food on the table.
“We’re really gratified that many of the Korean people are no longer eating dog meat so these farms are starting to close down,” Silk told WFLA News Channel 8.
Trouble is there’s no place for the dogs to go once they are rescued. That’s where Humane Society International steps in.
The dogs are taken to countries like the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
In countries abroad even family pets are fair game. Thieves steal them just to make a buck.
“A lot of people in Korea have dogs as pets and many of these dogs come with collars and tags where people have either stolen them or found them loose on the street and then sell them to this meat farm,” Silk said. Adding, their fresh start in Tampa and in other places might get off to a rough start.
“Most of them actually are very unsocial,” she said. “They don’t know they’re dogs and that they can play and that we’re their friend and not an abuser.”
But it won’t be too long that they live a life in which they thrive rather than trying just to survive.
“It’s heartbreaking to see them (bark) being treated this way,” Silk told WFLA News Channel 8.
The Humane Society Tampa Bay foots the bill for travel all the way up to that very moment when the dogs home with their forever families.
This rescue marks the sixth dog meat farm closure managed by HSI, with a total of 770 dogs rescued since January 2015 as part of the organization’s campaign to end the dog meat trade in South Korea and across Asia.
Humane Society of Tampa Bay is one of 18 shelters across the United States, and one of six in Florida, welcoming the dogs into their care to be placed for adoption into loving homes.