From Dog Farm to Shelter

Dogs in raised cage

Within a blind spot in the law, thousands of dogs are raised not as living animals but as dead meat. More than 2,700 are slaughtered every day.

Richard Yongjae O’Neill carrying puppy
Violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill at Namyangju dog farm

Are domestic dogs and dogs raised in dog meat farms really different?

Since being founded, CARE has actively campaigned for the abolition of dog meat farms. And for 16 years, we have visited countless and seen that, contrary to dog meat farmers’ claims, many of the dogs incarcerated in them are popular domestic breeds; golden retrievers, schnauzers, cocker spaniels, Shih Tzus, and beagles. In dog farms, all dogs are bred as meat.

It is not unreasonable to assume that many lost pets end up on farms destined for consumption. Moreover, female dogs used as breeders in puppy mills are sold to dog meat farms when they reach the end of their usefulness, and some unscrupulous vets sell euthanized dogs for dog meat soup.

CARE President and Hyo-jin Kim carrying dog crate
Actor Hyo-Jin Kim at Namyangju dog farm

How are these dogs raised and slaughtered?

The dogs are placed in heavily populated cages that are elevated above the ground in order to easily dispose of excretions. They live their whole lives in these cages eating food waste mixed with antibiotics—many dog meat farmers register as food waste disposal workers to collect food waste—and are usually given wastewater to drink. The one time the tightly shut iron door opens is the day they get slaughtered.

In the last moments, dogs are brutally killed before the eyes of their cellmates, some of whom may be family. Some farmers, in order to save electricity bills, beat them to death with clubs or hang them by the neck.

Man in hazmat suit pushing a wheelbarrow
Volunteer distributing food to the dogs at the dog farm

The abolition of dog farms begins with the illegal farm at Namyangju

In 2017, we discovered a large illegal dog farm in the greenbelt area of Namyangju, a city north-east of Seoul, and surveilled it for a while. Following that, and after a long and difficult negotiation, we were able to persuade the dog farmer to shut down the dog farm and hand the dogs over.

The dogs in life-threatening circumstances were removed first, and with the help of actor Kim Hyo-Jin and violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill, we have continued to remove dogs from the farm as space becomes available at our shelters.

Men and women standing around an elevated cage
Volunteers taking care of the dogs in the elevated cages at the dog farm

However, currently, about 70 dogs still remain at the dog farm due to our own shelters being full to capacity. These dogs still need to be treated, tended and kept safe until they can be removed to shelters, however, and CARE volunteers have taken on the huge task of providing clean water and food to them all.

This is just the beginning

Currently, there are still 8,000 dog farms in South Korea!

With Namyangju dog farm’s shutting down as its first signal, CARE will now begin the ‘From Dog Farm to Shelter’ project. The project will convert a dog farm in the Choong-Cheong area into a shelter, and move the remaining dogs from the Namyangju farm to it. Of course, the ultimate aim of the project is to move all dog farm dogs from farms to shelters and then on to adoption by loving families.

Man hosing watre into bowl in elevated dog cage
CARE volunteer providing clean water

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