RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — More than a dozen dogs rescued from the other side of the world found shelter in Virginia.
Fourteen dogs, many of them puppies, arrived at the Richmond SPCA around 8 p.m. Volunteers told 8News that without the Humane Society International’s life-saving rescue, these animals would’ve met a very different fate.
“They are some of the most fortunate dogs on the planet,” Richmond SPCA CEO Robin Robertson Starr said, moments after a van unloaded the first of 14 dogs rescued from an illegal dog meat farm in South Korea.
“The conditions in which they’re kept in a dog meat farm are horrific and the treatment is incredibly abusive.”
Photos from the international operation show wire cages and cramped spaces.
“These dogs have never really known human kindness,” Starr said.
The emergency placement marked the first time Humane Society International has arranged a transport of dogs rescued from the Korean meat trade to Central Virginia.
“You can see they’re frightened, but they’re very nice,” Starr added. “Nothing could make us prouder than to see this fulfillment of our mission.”
In an ongoing effort beginning in 2014, the SPCA said HSI is working to end the dog meat trade in South Korea by closing dog meat farms and offering farmers seed money to begin cultivating crops. With growing awareness and activism against the annual Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China, the world has begun to work to end the trade.
The rescue, Starr said, is only the beginning.
“We’ll do a full medical workup on each dog, and then we’ll know if they have issues that require treatment before we make them available for adoption,” she explained/
Starr said some of the dogs may become available to loving homes in a matter of weeks.