YORK COUNTY, Pa. — The York County SPCA said Wednesday that four of the nine dogs who were brought to the organization last month after being saved from South Korea's dog meat trade are now ready to be adopted.
The nine dogs arrived in York County on Nov. 13 after being saved in a rescue mission organized by Humane Society International, the SPCA said.
“To witness these dog’s incredible transformation from absolute neglect and fear to loving and playful astounds me," said Steven Martinez, executive director of the York County SPCA. "This is a story of resiliency.”
HSI rescued nearly 200 dogs from farms profiting off the dog meat market, including one farm in Haemi from which 170 of the dogs were rescued, the YCSPCA said.
"The conditions of these farms were horrific," the SPCA said. "Most dogs live their entire lives in barren wire cages or tethered to short chains with no access to clean water, adequate food, or protection from the elements. They receive no veterinary care and are deprived of socialization and human affection until being slaughtered."
While support for the dog meat trade in South Korea is fading as the demand decreases and support for a ban grows, there are still thousands of farms across the country still in operation, said Kelly O'Meara, HSI's vice president of companion animal campaigns.
"With fewer people wanting to eat dog, farmers can see the writing is on the wall for this dying industry and so they work with HSI to find a solution that gives both them and their remaining dogs a chance of a new life," O'Meara said. "With such interest from dog farmers, and public support, we hope the Korean government will adopt this type of approach to phase out the dog meat industry for good.”
After the dogs were rescued from the farm, HSI transported them from South Korea to the Washington, DC area where they were evaluated, received daily care, and provided with medical treatment at a temporary shelter, the YCSPCA said.
Once the dogs were stable, they were relocated to partnering shelters including the York County SPCA, which took in nine of the rescued animals.
Currently, the YCSPCA said it is providing extensive care to four Korean mastiffs, two Korean jindos, a Samoyed, a black Labrador Retriever, and a Chihuahua.
Each dog has received necessary medical treatment, behavioral evaluations, daily care, enrichment, and training. They have strived every day to transform the dogs’ fear of humans into trust, the SPCA said.
Staff and volunteers have also helped to reduce the dogs’ fears, introduce them to toys and walks, and be comfortable receiving affection.
Each dog has made significant progress and four are now available for adoption, the YCSPCA said.
YCSPCA staff will discuss behavioral and care needs as well as training advice with potential adopters.
"These resilient, courageous Korean rescues are simply awaiting their final transport into their forever homes," the YCSPCA said.
To learn more about adoption opportunities, visit www.ycspca.org/adopt.