Puppies rescued from South Korean meat farm brought to Sacramento

Sep 21, 2015 12:38 PM by KCRA-3

One after another, dog crates were lifted out of a van outside the Sacramento SPCA on Florin Perkins Road Friday afternoon.

Inside each one: a dog that will soon be adopted out to a home. But, these dogs are not strays or surrendered animals. They are part of a group of 57 dogs rescued this week from a dog meat farm in South Korea.

Many South Koreans shy away from eating dog meat, and yet, animal welfare groups say millions of dogs are slaughtered each year in that country for food.

"It's more the condition of the animals while they're being raised," said Rick Johnson, CEO of the Sacramento SPCA. "That's a real problem."

Workers from Humane Society International rescued the dogs Tuesday, through an agreement with a meat farm owner. Video they shot of the farm shows filthy cages and cramped conditions.

Dogs raised for meat typically don't live long -- they are fed until they grow to full size, then killed, Johnson said. They are not given medical care and don't get human interaction, he said. Most of the dogs rescued are puppies.

"And it does happen here in the United States in some of the Midwest areas, where they're raising hundreds of puppies in the puppy mills and selling them for pet dogs," he said.

Of the 57 dogs, 10 were brought to the Sacramento SPCA for adoption. Other Northern California adoption agencies will place the rest of the animals. It is believed to be only the second time that dogs rescued from meat farms overseas have been brought to the U.S. and the first time they've been brought to Sacramento.

When the dogs were first brought out of their crates and onto the grass outside the SPCA office Friday, they didn't bark and some barely moved while others trembled. Several puppies drooled, something that a veterinary technician said can be a sign of fear.

But, a few minutes later, the dogs were playing with each other and with the staff.

"Their alternative was a little more bleak than right now," Johnson said. "They're going to end up in somebody's arms probably sleeping on somebody's bed."

They'll be available for adoption starting Thursday.

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