VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Two months ago, an international rescue group saved 200 dogs from a dog meat farm in South Korea.
The Humane Society International has helped rescue nearly 800 dogs from similar situations in the past two years. A small number, considering the group estimates 30 million dogs are killed each year as part of the global dog meat trade.
Seven of the rescued dogs were taken to the Virginia Beach SPCA in order to get the medical treatment they need and to be adopted out to a forever home.
Emily Olley, the medical liaison for VBSPCA, says staff took the dogs in with open arms.
“They are lives, just like any other life. I don’t think it ever crossed our minds not to take them. This is what we do,” said Olley.
“Some of the dogs were crammed in cages up off the ground. A lot of dogs are in very bad health. Both of these guys had very little hair,” said Director of Shelter Operations Jenny Teed. “He was almost dead. He couldn’t pick his head up, he didn’t want to get up to walk, very dehydrated.”
The dogs did not interact with humans often in South Korea and they were not given toys to play with. Additionally, they were never given water.
“These dogs coming in here have interactions with human beings and don’t know if they are going to be hurt,” said Olley.
But they’re resilient, she says.
“We knew we couldn’t give up on them,” said Olley.
The team is nursing them back to health. For Teed, she’s also taking on the role as “mom,” too.
“It took five minutes and I couldn’t stop thinking about him and that next morning when I took him in I said, ‘I’m just going to do it,'” said Teed.
Meaux Jeaux is a puppy now getting the chance to grow up, play with toys and yes — relax in the arms of his new mother.