The first three of seven dogs rescued from a dog meat farm in South Korea and slated for placement with Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue arrived in Reinholds late last week, the agency announced Tuesday.
The dogs, who were saved as part of a rescue mission conducted by Humane Society International, were taken from Namyangju, South Korea to Dulles International Airport before being transported to Lancaster County.
The farm in Namyangju housed 170 dogs, all of which were bred for human consumption. It was the 10th farm closed by Humane Society International. The dogs, which included golden retrievers and several other breeds, were reportedly kept in filthy, unsanitary conditions and would have ultimately been electrocuted at a local market or slaughterhouse.
HSI has been working in South Korea for three years attempting to convince dog meat farmers to leave the trade and developing other livelihoods - including water delivery and blueberry farming - as an alternative.
DVGRR has worked as an emergency placement center for the Humane Society of the United States for several years, the agency said.
"HSUS reached out to us because they were aware of the work we do rehabilitating puppy mill survivors, and some of these dogs were showing similar behaviors," said John Plummer, DVGRR Executive Director. "We'll conduct medical exams on each of these dogs and will be performing their temperament evaluations before they will be released for adoption."
The next four dogs to be placed with DVGRR are expected to arrive at Dulles International Airport on Sunday. HSI covers the cost of transport with DVGRR staff and volunteers then transporting the dogs from Washington, D.C. to its facility in Reinholds.
Additionally, HSI handles the vaccinations and quarantine protocols in South Korea prior to releasing the dogs for travel.