It is not the ending these 31 South Korean rescue dogs likely imagined as the sights, sounds and smells of the canine concentration camp into which they where born permeated their uncomfortable wire crates.
Having journeyed a world away from the horror show of the dog meat trade, they now find themselves in North Carolina, each poised to be adopted into a loving forever home.
Their lives began in an unlicensed backyard operation in Jeonju, South Korean, a city ironically cited amid UNESCO’s Creative Cities for Gastronomy.
Rescuers from the Humane Society were delighted in greeting the animals and in the part they have played in ensuring they will move on to lives filled with love instead of doom.
“These dogs will be scattered across the state and they will find their ‘forever homes,’” , Kim Alboum, director of the Emergency Placement Partners program of The Humane Society of the United States, told the News & Observer. “There is a global effort to try to end the dog-meat trade.”
There is no uniformity in their look, they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, mixes.
Some that looked like Jindos, a dog native to South Korea. Some seemed to be terrier mixes. One, described as a Nureongi mix, had a coat and face with markings similar to a tiger.
Humane Society International has working for years to put an end to the dog-meat trade, offering incentives to farmers to give up their animals to be adopted as pets and make the transition to agricultural farming.
The North Carolina rescues came to the States by way of San Francisco, with a stop in Washington, D.C. before making their way to the Tar Heel State. They will be distributed throughout via multiple local rescue operations.
Paws of Bryson City, a rescue operation in western North Carolina, took 15 of the dogs. They planned to drop four of them in Boone at the Watauga Humane Society.
“The exotic little angle of this is that in helping the Korean dogs, we’re going to get people to come to our shelters and they’ll see the other dogs we have and might leave with one of them,” said David Stroud, executive director of the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society. His fiancee, Beth Cline, heads up Paws of Bryson City.
Paul Alexander, a volunteer who came to Cary from the Outer Banks, was emotional about his involvement.
“It’s just amazing,” he said. “This is one of the best days ever. The whole idea that tonight, they could have been dinner, but now they are going to be fed dinner, that’s just amazing.”
Those interested in adopting one of these dogs can visit the following N.C. shelters: Outer Banks SPCA, Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society, Moore Humane Society, Paws of Bryson City, Watauga Humane Society.