Humane Society of Vero Beach takes in 66 dogs rescued from South Korea dog meat trade

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Posted at 11:06 PM, Jan 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-20 06:12:57-05

Saved from slaughter.


The Humane Society’s International team this month rescued 200 dogs in South Korea, destined for the dog meat trade.


Now, 66 of those dogs are getting a second chance at life in Vero Beach.


“To be able to give them a new life here in Florida is just an incredibly rewarding experience,” said Janet Winikoff, Director at the Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County.


Ten dogs are already at the Humane Society in Vero Beach. Winikoff explains groups of about ten dogs at a time will be coming to the shelter over the next few days.


Twenty of the dogs will be adopted out of Vero Beach. The remaining dogs will be transferred to other shelters across the state to be adopted.


“They are dogs who need love, want love, need attention,” Winikoff said. 


She explains the dogs end up in the slaughter houses for a variety of reasons. Some are ‘street’ dogs, others stolen. Some are dropped off by their owners who no longer want them.


The dogs now at the shelter in Vero Beach range from 1- to 3-years-old. Most are in fairly good condition, according to Winikoff, but are thin and underfed.


Now, they will be receiving medical care, behavioral attention, and love from volunteers.


It’s much different from the conditions they were enduring. Many have only lived in cages. Some felt grass under their paws fro the first time once they got to Vero Beach.


“Typically they’re confined together, multiple dogs will be kept in cages. They are just in horrible conditions, they’re terribly stressed, they’re slaughtered and it’s just terrifying for them,” Winikoff.


According to the Humane Society’s International team, 770 dogs have been rescued from South Korea since early 2015.


They are aiming to phase out the dog meat trade before South Korea hosts the Olympics in 2018.


“There are very few people who actually are eating dog meat, but there is a demand for it, so again, we’d like to see this stopped.”


The dogs are expected to be available for adoption in two weeks.


The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County can use donations of toys, blankets or money to help care for the animals.