70 Dogs Kidnapped from Siheung Slaughterhouse

Around 70 dogs kidnapped–35 of them disappeared within 3 days–suspected to have been slaughtered.

The Siheung rescue on December 24th began when we were informed of a dog (named Yumi) that was running wild with burns all over her body and trauma to her head. We investigated the dog slaughterhouse nearby that she was suspected of having escaped from.

We discovered that these dog slaughterers had been killing dogs in all kinds of inhumane ways, including hanging and slaughtering them in front of other dogs. These practices are all in direct violation of animal protection law.

We made the dog slaughterers give up ownership of the dogs, and procured the cooperation of the City of Siheung. During the period of seclusion of these dogs from their previous owners, the City was requested to put the dogs up for adoption and promote the fact as much as possible, and that any remaining dogs should be dealt with in a humane manner. These procedures were the same as were enacted at the Hanam rescue last year, and the Cheonan rescue earlier this year.

We took a heavily pregnant dog to a veterinary on the day of the rescue, because the conditions of the slaughterhouse were unfit to say the least.

There was no shelter in the city that the dogs could move into, so they had to stay where they were. We quickly began to recruit volunteers to clean up the place on the 27th. The City of Siheung had the slaughterhouse under surveillance every day.

But on Christmas day, the dogs were kidnapped.

The following day, hearing the news of the dogs’ disappearance, we went over to the site immediately. The slaughterers had taken the dogs–approximately 70 of them–leaving only 11 dogs, black goats, chickens and wild geese.

This had happened because the City of Siheung had let the slaughterer to “deal with” the dogs, without telling us that this was the case. The slaughterer allegedly had a plan for where to send the dogs, but we were not informed.

The City official in charge told us that the slaughterers are unable to kill the dogs, and other animal protection groups had plans to take the dogs. But these “other groups” were in fact other dog farms, producing dog meat.

This is gross negligence, or worse, on the part of the City of Siheung. It is absurd for the official to argue that he had no idea where the slaughterer would send the dogs and what would become of them.

At the time of the rescue, the slaughterer had been willing to give up ownership of all the dogs, but the City had opened up a loophole for the dogs to be sold again to other dog slaughterhouses, perhaps because it was unwilling to deal with any remaining dogs that might remain unadopted.

We took the remaining pregnant dogs and newborns, to appropriate vets. Other animals were also sent to safe places, with the help of volunteers from the Cheonan shelter.

The goats remain onsite, but our activists and volunteers visit often to change their hay and feed them. The black goats had been giving birth in completely dark barns, with no sunlight at all and filled with feces, and in this cold winter weather dozens of their newborn kids are being found all over the place, having frozen to death.

We immediately procured the home addresses and phone numbers of all the people that had stolen the dogs. While the City officials in charge had wasted crucial time by not letting us know what the slaughterer had in mind, we succeeded in locating the whereabouts of the dogs in a matter of hours.

When we found them on the 28th, only half of the kidnapped dogs were left. The dog farm owners that had taken the dogs in insisted that they had died due to respiratory infections, but since we know that even sick dogs do not die overnight in large groups, we believe that they were slaughtered.

And the people who had stolen the dogs have demanded 3 million KRW for the return of the surviving 35 dogs.

They demanded to meet with our representative–and no one else–and stated they would only accept cash, and demanded that we give them personal information of certain CARE employees.

They also demanded that we sign a contract stating that we would not investigate the other farms or report them to be shut down, and to hand over all recordings and footage needed for further lawsuits; basically not pester them in the future.

In order to get the dogs back, we could only agree to do everything that they requested of us.

The surviving dogs were returned to us on December 31st, our last rescue of 2019.

46 dogs came back to us alive. The dog slaughterers had sent an additional 11 dogs; could they have been trying to compensate for the dogs that were no longer alive?

It was especially cold on the last day of December. Siheung City Hall could not provide even a temporary place for the dogs, so they had to be put back in their original off-the-ground cages. From 10am, our staff and volunteers worked to make a better environment for the dogs.

The dog slaughterer requested that we stay away from the site while they brought the dogs back. The dogs seemed more frightened that they had been before, probably because they were stolen away in such a horrific state, and some of them looked injured. None of the younger dogs could be found.

If the City of Siheung had prepared a temporary place for the abused animals as requested, this kind of unbelievable kidnapping incident would have not happened.

The Siheung dog slaughterhouse is to be shut down very soon.

There is still so much that needs to be done for the 46 dogs we got back, and the 11 goats and various other animals that remain. We and we need to relocate them to a vet for treatment and find safe homes for them. We also need to advertize and arrange for their ultimate adoption.

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