‘A lot of these dogs are purposely tortured’: Virginia Beach SPCA rescues puppies from South Korean dog meat farm

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SPCA
Leo is one of four rescue dogs that will be brought to the Virginia Beach SCPA for socialization and adoption. (Photo courtesy of Virginia Beach SPCA)

The Virginia Beach SPCA will receive four dogs rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm on Thursday.

The dogs are from a group of 200 canines recovered by Humane Society International, and transferred to the society’s various emergency placement partners across the country, according to a VBSPCA Facebook post.

“Humane Society International contacted me about two weeks ago about these dogs. They’d been approached by the daughter of the dog meat farm who wanted to get out of the business and transition to another form of agriculture,” Virginia Beach SPCA director Jenny Teed said. “As rescue and placement partners, we’re always on standby anytime they have puppy mill situations, but this is our first dealing with the dog meat trade.”

The dogs will be picked up by the SPCA early Thursday morning at the Washington Dulles International Airport and brought back to the Virginia Beach shelter, Teed said.

When they arrive, they will be quarantined, and evaluated for medical and behavioral problems, Teed said, noting the animals have lived through severe trauma.

“Over there, a lot of these dogs are purposely tortured before they’re killed because the person consuming the dog believes that they will get strength from the meat itself,” she said. “I can imagine with the amount of change going on they are going to need time to settle in.”

It’s also not uncommon to find that some animals are former pets, SPCA spokeswoman Amanda Dunlap said.

“Some of the dogs pulled from these farms were pets at one time, so they already know how to be pets and live in a home environment,” she said. “We send them out to foster homes and give them a second chance. People really want to help in these high-profile cases.”

This is not the first time the shelter has rehabilitated dogs from disastrous situations, but it’s the first time they’ve welcomed dogs from South Korea, Dunlap said, noting that the shelter expects to receive a second group of South Korean rescue dogs near the end of the month.

The dogs will not be immediately available for adoption.

Pohl may be reached at mariah@localvoicemedia.com