The rescued dogs were subjected to brutal deaths while their cage mates were forced to watch on.
More than 100 dogs that were rescued from a horrific dog meat farm in South Korea will be arriving in Toronto to find new homes with loving families after being destined for human consumption.
Many of the dogs arriving in Canada were found confined in small, dilapidated wire cages in horrendous conditions, and were forced to witness the barbaric deaths of their cage mates by electrocution before their rescue by Humane Society International (HSI) and local group LIFE on Jindo Island last year.
The conditions on the farm were so horrifying that authorities responding to neighbour complaints about dogs crying in terror closed the farm for breaching the Animal Protection Act.
Article 7 of the Animal Protection Act bans the cruel slaughter of animals, but does not prohibit the consumption of dog meat itself.
It is estimated that up to 1 to 2 million dogs each year are slaughtered each year for human plates, despite around 84% of South Koreans saying they do not or will not eat dog meat. Demand for the delicacy has dwindled in recent years, with growing support - almost 60% of the public - in favour of a ban.
In November, South Korean President Moon Jae-in initiated a task force to consider a total ban farming dogs for meat, with discussions expected to continue until April 2022, according to HSI, which hopes that this "crucial step" will eventually consign the cruel trade to South Korea's history books.
The charity said all the dogs it has managed to save are Jindos, South Korea's national dog, and are expected to arrive within the next week to receive much-needed medical and behavioural care at their temporary shelter in Cambridge, ON.
While many of the dogs will later be transferred to a shelter in the US to start new lives, around 40 will remain in Canada, travelling onto the charity's Montreal facility to connect them with loving new families.
Ewa Demianowicz, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada, said: “We are so thrilled to once again help our colleagues in South Korea end the cruel dog meat trade by welcoming these dogs who have been rescued from horrible dog meat farms at our emergency shelters.
"HSI/Canada will provide veterinary and behavioural care for these dogs and then our partner organisations will help find loving adoptive families for around 40 of them, while others will travel on to the United States to be cared for by our colleagues there.
"These dogs have endured tremendous suffering and our team is thrilled to be bringing them to safety and helping them recover from their physical and psychological trauma.”
Among the dogs coming to Canada is gentle Kaya, who loves being fussed over, sweet Moose who is calm and enjoys tucking into treats, Max who was likely an abandoned pet, Sony who was emaciated and depressed on rescue but is now gaining weight and confidence, as well as two "sweet-natured" Jindos such as Lucie-loo and Jenny-joo.
HSI has so far managed to close down 17 other dog farms in South Korea while rescuing nearly 2,500 dogs.
Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s dog meat campaign manager, said: “I hope very much that for these dogs flying to Canada, the dog meat industry will soon be just a distant memory. They have experienced the worst of humanity, but now they will know what love and compassion feels like.
"Here in South Korea we are at a crossroads, with the government giving serious consideration to ending this cruel industry. The many years of experience that HSI’s pioneering dog farm closure program has to offer will hopefully take us one step closer to a future where no dog farms exist and all dogs can live happy lives.”