“The man dragged the dog for about twenty meters and tied him to a post. The dog was screaming in pain. The man used his two hands to pull the dog’s tail with all his strength, causing the dog to be choked, crushing his backbone.”
The above quote is from a deeply moving letter from a young South Korean woman asking IDA for help to end the horrific cruelty she had just witnessed - the South Korean dog meat trade.
She continued, “Using all his strength he pulled the dog by his left leg. Next he did the same with the right leg. While the dog was still alive, he was tearing his body apart. The dog was moaning with horrible pain. I asked the man why are you killing the dog so painfully, so cruelly? He smiled at me and proudly told me, ‘Dogs should take a long time to be killed, that way they taste better.”
As I put down her letter, I swore that I would not rest until the horrific cruelty she described came to an end. No matter how long the campaign - no matter how long the fight.
Her words are as vivid now as they were then.
Any day, all over South Korea, all one has to do is stroll into one of many markets to see dogs jam-packed into crates. When a customer makes a selection, the dog is roughly yanked from the cage, usually strung up, and then ruthlessly beaten as he writhes and cries out in pain, urinating and defecating as he slowly strangles to death.
Even more mindboggling is the “rationale” given for the abuse: that the adrenaline released into the dogs' bloodstreams due to their terror and agony will increase the consumer’s sexual powers.
Cats also suffer horribly in this trade – they are boiled alive to produce “tonics.”
Thanks to your support and the work of our South Korean colleagues pressuring their government, laws protecting animals have been strengthened.
But there is still no law banning the killing of dogs and cats or even remotely suggesting it is illegal to consume them.
The cruelty and killing continues because it is backed by government indifference, and a profit-driven industry aggressively promoting the myth that consuming tortured dogs and cats increases male sexual prowess and overall health. They bribe government officials, intimidate animal protection campaigners and induce newspapers to extol the "virtues" of dog meat and cat “tonics.”
This past July, our fifth annual International Day of Action for Dogs and Cats in South Korea featured 38 events around the world, including in South Korea. In San Francisco, we presented the South Korean Consulate with over 20,000 petitions.
Almost simultaneously, IDA’s partner organization in South Korea, Coexistence for Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), visited a dog meat “farm.” They found dogs living in miserable conditions—many with injuries—all filthy and uncared for—all sitting in piles of feces.
These brave activists couldn’t leave without the dogs. At the risk of arrest and personal injury, they rescued the dogs and brought them to CARE’s shelter to be treated, cleaned, and loved for the first time.
CARE has filed a civil complaint against the facility and the owner has agreed to demolish the buildings and not obtain any more dogs. This is a huge victory for the dogs and activists of South Korea!
With IDA’s assistance, thanks to your generosity, CARE is also gearing up for lawsuits against dog meat shops.