Pups rescued from the plate to find new homes in Montreal

Dozens of dogs were rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm.

MONTREAL -- Dozens of pups rescued from the dog meat industry will soon call Montreal home.

The International Humane Society recently seized the dogs—62 of them--from a South Korean farm, where they were destined to be slaughtered, or used for breeding.

Soon, they’ll be adopted by families in the Montreal area, according to Rebecca Aldworth, director of the Canadian branch of the International Humane Society.

But they’ve been through a lot.

“These are dogs that are going to require a lot of tender love and care to heal from the trauma they've been through,” she said. 

In South Korea, the dogs--tosas, jindos, golden retrievers and even terriers--were housed in barren cages. They were emaciated, dehydrated and suffered from skin infections. 

Such conditions are typical of a dog meat farm, Aldworth said. 

But the pet industry is growing in South Korea. As companion animals become more popular, the population’s desire for dog meat is dropping. Lawmakers have proposed outlawing the killing of canines for food, but legislation has yet to be passed. 

South Korean animal shelters are at capacity, overflowing with dogs rescued from similar farms, Aldworth said, so these dogs were flown thousands of kilometres, first to Toronto, then to Montreal. 

This is the 15th time the International Humane Society has closed a dog meat farm. 

Most of the dogs are young, and many are afraid of human contact, but Aldworth said they’re already improving. 

“I’ve seen dogs that have arrived here completely shut down, absolutely terrified, hiding at the backs of their cages, not even making eye contact with people and within a few short weeks, those dogs have gone into homes,” she said.

According to the International Humane Society, an estimated two million dogs a year are reared on thousands of dog meat farms across South Korea. 

Many of dogs will be ready for adoption in the coming weeks, Aldworth said.