A dozen dogs once doomed to show up on dinner tables got a second chance at life this week when they arrived in the Washington, DC area, where they will be put up for adoption. The dogs are the first arrivals of a group of 23 canines being imported to the US from South Korea in an effort to combat East Asia’s fondness for eating dog meat.
Yahoo News reports that the dogs were previously staying at a South Korean farm in Ilsan, near Seoul, and being bred for human consumption. The Washington-based Humane Society International (HSI) convinced the farmer, who has a soft spot for dogs, to give the dogs up and begin growing blueberries instead.
The dogs flew in from Seoul Monday and settled into their temporary homes at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, Virginia. Their rescue is only a small part of their campaign to raise awareness about the international canine meat trade.
While other nations target feral dogs to use as food, South Korea is unique because farmers often raise dogs specifically to meet demand. Somewhere between 1.2 and 2 million dogs are consumed per year in South Korea alone. This marks the first time dogs raised for meat have been rescued and brought into the United States.