On Monday September 11th, we received a report from an activist and headed to a Bucheon dog meat farm. Upon arrival, we heard dogs barking. Following the barking sound, we saw dogs locked up in cages. The condition of the farm was far worse than what we had expected. Closest to the entrance, there were puppies locked up. The cages were covered with filth, dust and hair. Untreated excrement and filth were piled up below the cages.
The owner of the farm, who had been operating the farm and slaughtering dogs illegally for the past 10 years, had already received much pressure from Bucheon activists and the local government. Abashed by the sudden visit by our camera crew, he refused to let us inside. After relentlessly negotiation, however, we persuaded the owner to let us in.
The conditions were even worse when we got inside. The dim structure was almost entirely dark, and had little ventilation to let the odor out. Inside the cages covered in filth and hair, food waste given instead of dog food, giving off an unbearable stench, and some was moldy. Dogs known for their highly developed sense of smell, several hundred times more sensitive than humans, were agonizing in the atrocious stench which we found hard to bear for more than five minutes.
On Friday September 15th, we determined to decommission the dog meat farm, decided to rescue every dog in it, and got a written statement from the owner never to operate the farm again. CARE activists and volunteers, embarked on the rescue. At first we were quite surprised by how amicable the dogs were, but soon they turned aggressive, as if in a life-threatening situation, when we took out dog leashes. It was clear how brutally they had been treated until our rescue. We did their very best to calm them down, moving them into cages one by one, and then to the CARE shelter.
Being able to breathe fresh air in the sunlight, and pawing on earth and grass for the first time, some dogs grinned in joy, others cried, and some just rolled and rolled, elated at their freedom. The sight of the dogs touched us in a way that cannot be put into words.
44 dogs will be given much needed attention in the CARE shelter, recovering their health until they can be finally adopted into loving homes.
The shutting down of the last dog meat farm in Bucheon is a huge step toward the goal of shutting down all dog meat farms in South Korea.
Having embarked upon our mission to eradicate the practice of raising edible dogs in the ‘Free Dog Moran’ campaign last July, we will continue our unrelenting struggle to shut down all domestic dog meat farms until we can proclaim a ‘Dog Meat Free Korea!’