December 7, 2023


A dog is shown locked in a cage at a dog meat farm in Ansan City, South Korea

Animals welfare groups rescued 21 dogs from an illegal dog meat farm in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, days before Bok Nal, a tradition marking the country’s hottest days of summer.

On July 14, Humane Society International (HSI) reported that a team from Humane Society International/Korea and Korean K9 Rescue saved the canines left behind at the illegal farm following the facility’s closure by authorities. Government officials removed 38 dogs from the farm and rehomed the canines before the animal groups’ rescue mission.

The 21 dogs left behind had a “deadline for removal” that, if surpassed, would’ve put the pups at risk of being euthanized or sold to a slaughterhouse, HSI shared in a release about the rescue.

Korean K9 Rescue is happy to work in partnership with HSI in dismantling and rescuing animals from the Ansan dog meat farm.

As the animals are suffering in the sweltering summer heat, we have moved quickly to remove them from an unbearable situation that no living being should endure.

It’s important we keep pushing for reform and change to the agriculture laws within South Korea and effectively promote change from within,” Gina Boehler, the executive director of Korean K9 Rescue, said in a statement.

The animal groups saved the canines days before the start of Bok Nal, a tradition in South Korea that marks the three hottest days of summer.

During Bok Nal, many canines at Korean dog meat farms are sold and killed for a dog meat soup, known as “bosintang,” according to HSI.

While the tradition continues, a recent opinion poll commissioned by HSI/Korea and conducted by Nielsen found nearly 84% of South Koreans said they don’t or won’t eat dog, and almost 60% supported a legislative ban.

HSI added in its release that as part of the farm’s closure, the former owner signed a legally binding agreement that they would never farm dogs again.

“This dog farm is typical of so many across South Korea where thousands of dogs are languishing in filthy, deprived conditions, enduring the unimaginable frustration of being confined in tiny cages their whole lives until they are brutally killed by electrocution,” Sangkyung Lee, HSI/Korea’s dog meat campaign manager, said of the rescue in a statement.