NJ animal shelter takes 120 dogs that were destined to be eaten by people in S. Korea
MADISON — A Morris County animal shelter will house 120 dogs rescued from a dog-meat farm in South Korea — a country where man's best friend becomes man's dinner meat during the so-called "dog days of summer."
The nonprofit Humane Society International rescued a total of 250 dogs and puppies from a farm in the county as part of a campaign to end the Bok Nal tradition of serving canine stew. The group has helped shut down five such operations there.
The organization is transporting 120 of the dogs to St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in this borough, while others will be flown to shelters and foster families in the United States and Canada.
St. Hubert's has taken in rescues from South Korea before. Last year the shelter rehabilitated two dogs that the Humane Society had rescued from a dog-meat farm.
The Animal Hospital of Roxbury also agreed to provide discounted veterinary services and shelter space.
South Korea's Bok Nal celebration kicks off in about 11 weeks. During that time, people eat boshintang stew in the belief that the dog meat helps people keep cool during the hot summer months. The Humane Society says the practice has fallen out of favor with younger generations.
The dogs are kept in factory-farm conditions that many Western dog-lovers would be shocked to see.
"It’s factory-farming of dogs in row upon row of bare wire cages, filthy with faeces. The dogs live in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety," Humane Society International campaign manager Andrew Plumbly said.
The nonprofit says dog farmers raise almost 3 million dogs for this purpose every year.
Among the breeds slated for slaughter include large mastiffs, Jindo mixes, golden retrievers, beagles and Chihuahuas.
"Alerting Koreans to the fact that these are no different to the dogs we live with at home, is a key part of HSI’s message," the animal-rights organization said in a prepared statement.
The organization is working to get the South Korean government to ban the practice.
"With the Winter Olympics coming up in Pyeongchang in 2018, we are urging politicians to work with us to consign the eating of dogs to the history books," Plumbly said.
In New Jersey, it is illegal to sell the meat or fur of domestic cats and dogs or the meat of horses for human consumption.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.