- Dogs are bred in South Korea for food, and kept in deplorable conditions
- Kenworthy describes ‘malnourished’ animals and ‘excruciating’ executions
- Humane Society International and Kenworthy talked farmer into shutting down
- All dogs will be sent to US and Canada where they will be available for adoption
- The skier and animal advocate, brought home stray dogs from Sochi Olympics
US Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, 26, won’t be taking home a medal from Pyeongchang. But he is bringing home a puppy! In a long Instagram post Kenworthy said that he and boyfriend Matt Wilkas had a ‘heart-wrenching’ visit to a dog farm. Kenworthy reports that there are 17,000 dog farms in South Korea, where dogs are being raised for food.
Kenworthy is careful to note that he is not in any way trying to change the Korean culture of eating dog, writing ‘while don’t personally agree with it, I do agree that it’s not my place to impose western ideals on the people here.’
Instead he rails against the inhumane treatment at these farms, saying that ‘the dogs here are malnourished and physically abused, crammed into tiny wire-floored pens, and exposed to the freezing winter elements and scorching summer conditions,’ and goes on to describe the ‘excruciating’ way they are put to death.
Humane Society International (HSI) has been working to stop the dog meat trade,the group says that South Korea is the only country left in Asia ‘where dogs are routinely and intensively farmed for human consumption.’
Kenworthy was with HSI at the farm, and they were able to convince the farmer to give up dog farming. According to the Associated Press, ‘the farmer told HSI he never intended to sell dogs for slaughter but had no choice when his collection of pet Jindo dogs kept producing puppies.’ He accepted the HSI offer to buy out his farm and soon 90 dogs will be on their way to the US and Canada where they will be available for adoption.
Kenworthy and Wilkas will bring one home, too. He shares her photo and says, ‘I adopted the sweet baby in the first pic (we named her Beemo) and she’ll be coming to the US to live with me as soon as she’s through with her vaccinations in a short couple of weeks. I cannot wait to give her the best life possible!’
This is not the first time the freestyle skier has brought a puppy home from the Olympics, in Sochi in 2014, he brought home a silver medal and a family of strays.
Kenworthy is an outspoken animal rights advocate and plans to continue to do what he can to save dogs.
He ends his Instagram post celebrating the dogs they saved, but noting that ‘there are still millions of dogs here in need of help.’
- Closing South Korea¿s dog meat farms : Humane Society International
- ‘Heartbroken’ Kenworthy visits dog meat farm, adopts puppy