US Olympian Gus Kenworthy rescues 90 dogs from Korean dog meat farm

(FoxNews.com) - American Olympian Gus Kenworthy may be a dog’s best friend.

The skier, who brought home two puppies he discovered near the Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia, found some new furry friends while touring one of South Korea’s 17,000 dog meat farms.

In a long Instagram post filled with heart-wrenching pictures of sad-looking dogs in cages, Kenworthy talks about the visit he made with his boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas, late last week.

“Across the country there are 2.5 million dogs being raised for food in some of the most disturbing conditions imaginable. Yes, there is an argument to be made that eating dogs is a part of Korean culture,” Kenworthy, 26, wrote in the post.

 

This morning Matt and I had a heart-wrenching visit to one of the 17,000 dog farms here in South Korea. Across the country there are 2.5 million dogs being raised for food in some of the most disturbing conditions imaginable. Yes, there is an argument to be made that eating dogs is a part of Korean culture. And, while don't personally agree with it, I do agree that it's not my place to impose western ideals on the people here. The way these animals are being treated, however, is completely inhumane and culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty. I was told that the dogs on this particular farm were kept in "good conditions" by comparison to other farms. The dogs here are malnourished and physically abused, crammed into tiny wire-floored pens, and exposed to the freezing winter elements and scorching summer conditions. When it comes time to put one down it is done so in front of the other dogs by means of electrocution sometimes taking up to 20 agonizing minutes. Despite the beliefs of some, these dogs are no different from the ones we call pets back home. Some of them were even pets at one time and were stolen or found and sold into the dog meat trade. Luckily, this particular farm (thanks to the hard work of the Humane Society International and the cooperation of a farmer who's seen the error of his ways) is being permanently shut down and all 90 of the dogs here will be brought to the US and Canada where they'll find their fur-ever homes. I adopted the sweet baby in the first pic (we named her Beemo) and she'll be coming to the US to live with me as soon as she's through with her vaccinations in a short couple of weeks. I cannot wait to give her the best life possible! There are still millions of dogs here in need of help though (like the Great Pyrenees in the 2nd pic who was truly the sweetest dog ever). I'm hoping to use this visit as an opportunity to raise awareness to the inhumanity of the dog meat trade and the plight of dogs everywhere, including back home in the US where millions of dogs are in need of loving homes! Go to @hsiglobal's page to see how you can help. #dogsarefriendsnotfood #adoptdontshop ❤️🐶

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Kenworthy continued: “And, while don't personally agree with it, I do agree that it's not my place to impose Western ideals on the people here. The way these animals are being treated, however, is completely inhumane and culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty.” 

Although the skier says he was told that the animals at this particular farm were kept in “good conditions,” he found them to be malnourished and exposed to the elements while stuffed into tiny cages.

According to Kenworthy -- who didn’t podium this year after being sidelined by a broken thumb and a gross-looking hematoma -- the farm he visited is being shut down and all 90 of the dogs currently living there will be flown to the United States and Canada, with assistance from Human Society International, where they will be put up for adoption.

“I’m hoping to use this visit as an opportunity to raise awareness to the inhumanity of the dog meat trade here in Korea and the plight of dogs everywhere, including back home in the US where millions of dogs are in need of loving homes! Go to @hsiglobal‘s page to see how you can help,” he writes at the end of his post.

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