Dogs rescued from South Korea meat farm

Posted at 8:40 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 22:41:44-04

If no one had intervened, Peggy the black lab and Bud the mastiff wouldn't be at the Larimer Humane Society. In fact, they probably would have been someone's dinner.

They are part of a group of 250 dogs and puppies rescued by the Humane Society International's Animal Rescue Team from a dog meat farm in Wonju, South Korea. There, they were kept in cages, were malnourished and some could barely walk.

"Those first couple days I really thought that we would be carrying them, we would be coaching future adopters how to carry the dogs safely from point A to point B," said Larimer Humane Society's behaviorist Kate Gloecker.

The humane society has been caring for them since they arrived at Denver International Airport with eight other dogs more than two weeks ago.  

The United States has become a safe haven of sorts for these dogs. While dog meat farms are legal in South Korea, the South Korean government is worried about its image in anticipation of the 2018 Winter Olympics there. Now they're working with animal rescue groups to shut down the dog meat farms.

"Many of the farmers are willing to close their farms down as long as they can then have some other kind of livelihood. That's part of what HSI has been doing... working with them and the South Korean government to help the farmers find some other way of making a living," said Judy Calhoun, Executive Director of the Larimer Humane Society.

Since their arrival, the dogs have gained weight, been spayed and neutered and have been working with a behaviorist to get used to their new surroundings. So far, two have already been adopted and five were sent to other rescues. The remaining three are making progress everyday.

"This is the first time I've seen them play with a new toy," said Calhoun.

Calhoun said because of the dogs' background they will require extra attention, patience and socialization. They still need to be potty trained and should not go to a home with cats.

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