At least three dogs rescued from a South Korean meat farm will soon be available for adoption at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
The AWLA is partnering with five other local rescue organizations in the D.C. area to find new lives for 23 dogs rescued earlier this month by Humane Society International. It’s the first time the organization has negotiated the rescue of dogs raised for slaughter. The farmer who owned the dogs was compensated with $2,500 and will use that money to start growing blueberries.
Three dogs were taken from the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria — where all 23 have been housed since arriving at Dulles International Airport earlier this week — to AWLA’s headquarters at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive: A shih tzu named Billy, a corgi mix named Abi and a mother dog whose puppies were taken to other shelters. AWLA Executive Director Neil Trent says he expects Billy and Abi to be available for adoption in about two weeks.
“Some of the animals are going to have behavioral issues for a while, they’re not used to a kind hand,” he told ARLnow.com as his staff helped load Billy and Abi into their van. “They’re nervous, they’re stressed in a new environment, so it’s going to take some time.”
The mother might “have some health issues,” Trent said, and he’s still not sure when or how many puppies AWLA will receive. The dogs will be available for adoption on a first-come, first-served basis.
The AWLA has worked with the Humane Society of the United States before, but this was their first interaction with HSI, Trent said. Trent, who is British, is a former executive director of HSI and said it’s been a recent initiative of the organization to curb the Asian dog meat trade. Trent was notified last month that dogs may be coming to the D.C. area from South Korea.
“We’ve taken dogs from HSUS before, so we said ‘absolutely, we’ll be on alert,'” he said.
HSI’s hope is the 23 dogs rescued will be a symbol in fighting the dog meat market. HSI director Kelly O’Meara told the Washington Post that between 1.2 million and 2 million dogs are eaten in South Korea every year.