RISPCA: Eight animals in Korean dog meat trade rescued

Eight dogs that were slated for consumption in Korea have been rescued, thanks to two animal groups. (Photos courtesy of Humane Society International)

Eight dogs that were slated to be slaughtered and used for human consumption in Korea have been rescued, thanks to two animal groups.

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals teamed up with Humane Society International to save the dogs, which will soon be up for adoption.

“As part of our partnership with the Humane Society of the United States, we are emergency rescue partners,” RISPCA’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations Eric St. Peter told NBC 10 News. “That means in times of need, we have agreed to receive animals displaced due to disaster or animal cruelty investigations. This would often mean animals in the United States, but in this particular case, H.S.U.S and Humane Society International has asked us to help on an international level.”

NBC 10 spoke to Gina Lazara, who already adopted a dog in South Korea.

“I get choked up thinking about it,” she said. “They don't have the same attitude on pets as we do in America. They don't get it. They don't understand that these are part of our family and a lot of dogs end up dead or at a meat farm.”

Charlie, a golden retriever, wouldn’t be alive if it wasn't for Lazara, who is a news reporter in Las Vegas.

“If I can save one from dying -- a beautiful golden retriever over in South Korea -- why wouldn’t I do that?” Lazara said.

A year ago, time was running out for Charlie. That was until Lazara rescued Charlie through an international adoption program.

“Dogs don't know borders. Dogs don't know where their country is, where they are born,” she said. “All they want is a forever home.”

But things are starting to change, as Korea is welcoming help from America.

“The mentality is changing a bit over there and a lot of the citizens are more opposed to using the concept of dogs as food,” RISPCA Director Joe Warzycha said, adding that RISPCA has extra shelter space for the eight dogs that were rescued. “If we've helped all the other organizations in Rhode Island, we're opening our doors to expand to help other organizations.”

The dogs include a one-year-old lab mix, a five-month-old lab/hound mix, and six three-and-a-half-month-old Jindo puppies.

Puppies under six months old are $350 to adopt, while adults that are old than six months are $175 to adopt. The adoption process starts Thursday.

Meanwhile, Lazara said Charlie is much happier and healthier dog. More importantly, he's safe.

“There's so many dogs that need homes and if you have the means to do it, you should do it,” Lazara said.

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