Humane Society International rescuers found Hayden struggling to survive on a dog meat farm in South Korea. Bred to supply dogs for the dog meat trade, she was a broken soul with a future of suffering ahead of her. But we changed all that and rescued Hayden and 170 other dogs suffering on this farm.
We are making great progress every day in our fight to end the dog meat trade. South Korean authorities shut down one of their country’s largest dog meat markets where live dogs were killed to order. The closure of the Gupo dog meat market in South Korea is an especially important victory, because for many people, this market had come to symbolize the cruelty of the dog meat trade.
HSI and our local partners assisted the Busan government with the closure and were able
to rescue more than 80 dogs in the custody of vendors closing their shops. The dogs, terrified and cowering in their cages, were transported out of their horrific surroundings and are now being cared for in South Korea until they are healthy and vaccinated. HSI then transports them to our shelter partners in the United States and Canada where they will have a chance to find loving homes.
Hayden took some time to transition to her new life and foster family. Suffering from extreme trauma, at first, she wouldn’t leave her crate except to walk around. She also refused to eat. But her foster family didn’t give up on her adopting Hayden exactly 101 days after bringing her home, and the rest is history.
The closure of these dog meat markets symbolizes an important shift in thinking with regards to the dog meat trade, both among average Koreans who, in growing numbers, see dogs as companions rather than food, and among lawmakers. Increasingly, law enforcement and local authorities are coming down hard on this unpopular industry and many dog farmers are also keen to exit the controversial trade which brings them nothing but societal shame and dwindling profits.
HSI has been on the ground in South Korea, fighting for these changes. Through public awareness campaigns, dog meat farm closures exposing the suffering and truth behind the trade, and government lobbying for a ban on the industry, we have kept the global spotlight riveted on this issue while encouraging a change in hearts and minds among Koreans. We have closed 17 dog meat farms, helping the farmers transition to more humane livelihoods, like growing mushrooms or water parsley or delivering water. We have transported more than 2,500 dogs, who were fated for the butcher’s block, out of South Korea.
and to shelter and rescue partners in countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, for a chance at a new life as a beloved companion.
We know we have a long road ahead before no dog or cat is butchered for food, and we are committed to seeing this fight to the finish everywhere this trade exists in Asia. But the successes in Korea and Indonesia are exciting and a very promising boost for animal protection advocates like our HSI staff who bravely confront the worst sort of animal cruelty in their work on this issue.
Hayden now gets to explore all the world’s beauty and no longer spends her days alone and frightened in a barren cage. Hayden has been to the mountains, the beach, and playing in the snow. When she’s not traveling around the world, she loves to chase her toys, take naps, and receive and open presents.