Most of the dogs found in the meat farms of South Korea have been specifically bred for the purpose. Some are also stolen from unwitting owners; such is the demand for dog meat. The conditions on these farms are, unsurprisingly, horrific; so too is the grizzly end that these dogs meet.
Despite 1 in every 4 South Korean household living with pets, many of whom are dogs, simply put, it’s a case of ‘pet dogs’ versus ‘farmed dogs’ and the distinction between the two is heartbreaking. While pet dogs are considered part of the family, it’s widely thought that ‘meat dogs’ lack the same feelings; some even believe that these dogs don’t have souls.
The most common dog found on meat farms is the Jindo, known for their intelligence, loyalty and sleek white coats. Categorised as ‘meat dogs’ unworthy of affection or love, in some parts of the country, vets even refuse to treat them.
South Korea’s cultural attitudes have developed over time, making way for younger generations who are abandoning the tradition of eating dog meat, and even going as far as to campaign against it. This is a positive step in the right direction, and we’re proud to be part of supporting that change – but until every cage is empty, there’s still lots to be done.
We ACT is a non-profit organisation run solely by volunteers operating out of South Korea; their work encompasses closing down dog meat farms, liberating the dogs found on the premises and rehabilitating them via foster care, before finding them homes worldwide, where they’ll finally be free of past traumas and the risk of re-capture.
We ACT have saved over 1000 dogs, not just from meat farms but also those found on the streets or rescued from dire situations, and have provided foster care and rehomed around 900 since 2016. They also recently opened their own shelter which currently houses 150 dogs.
Wild at Heart Foundation have been working with We ACT since 2020, and our support began by facilitating the adoptions of five deserving dog meat farm survivors across 2020 and 2021 – Dawn, Doori, Alisha, Roly and Poly.
Dawn, Doori and Alisha, all Jindos, were liberated from Siheung meat farm, in the north of the country. From there they spent time safe in the care of the We ACT foster network, building their confidence and preparing them for their new lives. Heartbreakingly, Alisha was found sharing her cage with a litter of puppies, indicating that this beautiful girl had been used for breeding. Thankfully, her pups were adopted and one even went home with the vet who did their initial health checks.
Roly and Poly were siblings who were found in a filthy cage with a number of other dogs, puppies and even chickens.
We have also provided financial assistance to support the boarding and training costs, and more recently, the medical costs, of dogs undergoing rehabilitation after being rescued from meat farms.
If a regular donation towards a specific project is set up and we subsequently cease to provide support in the future, any recurring donations will be allocated to the areas of our other work requiring the most support.