The last 13 of a total of 57 dogs rescued by the Humane Society International from the South Korean dog meat market have just arrived to the San Francisco SPCA to start a new chapter in their lives.

The animal welfare organization has been working in the Asian country raising awareness to end the cruel trade and helping farmers transition their farms into an agriculture business instead. This is the second time their hard work has paid off and a farmer has agreed to shut down his dog farm and surrender all his dogs. In February, the organization brought 23 dogs to New Jersey.

Dogs living in dog farms are forced to live like most farmed animals, crammed in filthy rusty cages, deprived of everything that’s natural to them until they meet their horrible fate. According to Korean Dogs, the animals are ‘raised cages all their lives with no protection from extreme weather and no water, exercise, companionship or medical care, never feeling the ground beneath feet. Their eardrums are often burst to prevent them from barking.’

The website also explains that most South Koreans who eat dog meat believe that the more a dog or cat suffers prior to their death the more healthy and tasty their meat is. Because of this, dogs are often tortured before being killed, they have their bones broken, they are burned and cats are frequently just boiled alive.

The demand for dog and cat meat is so big in the country that they are the only ones that have a large farming system to meet the demand, which is still so high that 20% of dogs eaten are imported from China.

The Humane Society rescue team described the farm the 57 dogs, all younger than 2, were rescued: “The barns are dark and cold… The cages don’t appear to have been cleaned for years. The dogs were being fed on animal carcasses – often with the entire carcass being just tossed to them. They circle endlessly. As you walk down the aisles, you see eyes peering out from the darkness and then the dogs slowly approach the front of their cages.”

“This is the terrible industry we are trying to stop. These 57 dogs are now safe, but millions more are still suffering, hungry and scared. Please make an urgent donation today to help us fight the cruelty.”

The dogs will be spread out to Emergency Placement Partners with The Humane Society of the United States until ready for adoption.

“Some of these dogs were in a terrible state both physically and mentally. They’ve been starved of love their whole lives, living in fear and deprivation,” said Lola Webber, the Humane Society Asia campaign manager and the director of the Change for Animals Foundation in South Korea.

“As soon as we opened their cage doors and they realized we weren’t going to harm them, they wagged their tails and licked our faces. I felt very privileged to give these dogs the first-ever cuddle and kiss of their lives.”

It is estimated that 2.5 million dogs and thousands of cats are slaughtered in South Korea every year. In China the number reaches 10 million and hundreds of thousands are eaten in other countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

If you would like to help the Humane Society with the costs of the rescue and the dogs’ rehabilitation, click here to donate.

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