Dogs rescued from South Korean meat farm adjust to new lives

WFLA photo

TAMPA (WFLA) – It’s video that, for some, may be hard to watch: a dog so tired that she tries to fall asleep standing up.

She doesn’t know how to sleep laying down, not to mention, what a bed even is.

Harriet is one of more than a dozen dogs brought to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.  She was rescued along with hundreds of others from the South Korean dog meat trade.

Now, she’s learning just how to be a dog.

“Harriet had no idea what a bed was,” said Sherry Silk, CEO of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

Harriet and the other dogs brought there knew how to sleep, not on soft beds, but in steel cages.

“Basically, they were overcrowded conditions,” Silk said.  “Many of them kind of just leaned up against each other.”

Those cages are where the dogs spent their entire lives, until recently, when they were rescued by Humane Society International.

The two dozen pups were placed in Tampa and other cities in the U.S., as well as Canada and the U.K.

Now, Silk said, it’s as if they’re babies, taking one step at a time.

When asked if this was a huge learning curve, Silk said, “For them, and for us as our staff and volunteers, because we’ve never had animals from a meat farm before.”

It’s also raising awareness and putting pressure on certain countries working to put an end to the dog meat trade.

“It’s decreasing,” Silk said. “It’s on it’s way down.”

Silk hopes rescues like this will open peoples’ minds.

But, for the meat farm traders, it’s about lots of money and not opening minds.

Thousands of other dogs are just waiting to be saved.

“It’s too bad we can’t save them all,” said Pat Reeves, another rescuer.

The dogs will most likely be up for adoption in the next few weeks. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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