Saving the world's dogs

Local woman fosters canines rescued from Korean meat farms

By Bill Rethlake Daily News

Jul 10, 2019

GREENSBURG – Local resident Cara Geis is fostering three dogs rescued from a Korean dog farm.

Mixed breeds, but still lovable and needing homes, they are named Cleo, Miss J. and Ally – and they are available for adoption

On April 30, K9 Global Rescue, founded by Jon Barocas, raided a dog meat farm in South Korea after receiving information about the location from Korean officials. Over a three day period, K9GR removed approximately 40 dogs and puppies from the farm, permanently shut the farm down and demolished all the cages.

Each dog was cataloged, photographed, and documented prior to being taken to an emergency vet for treatment and testing. All dogs came back negative for Parvo, Distemper, Lepto, and other common diseases. One dog was positive for Coronavirus, one for Lyme disease, and three were positive for Heartworm. Treatment for any identified issues was started on those dogs immediately.

Through a worldwide volunteer network of veterinarians, animal control officials and concerned citizens, these dogs, once they received a clean bill of health, were distributed to locations around the globe for fostering until permanent homes can be found.

Cleo, Miss J. and Ally, three Korean Jindo hunting mixed breed dogs, were among the 40 dogs that Barocas rescued.

After adopting a rescued dog from China three years ago, Geis familiarized herself with global rescue efforts designed to save animals from the meat trade.

"My dog was in a slaughterhouse in China when they rescued her. I followed them on Facebook and I knew they had shut down the China farm. I had to help," she said.

According to the 501(c)3 organization's website (www.k9globalrescue.org), it is estimated that in Korea close to 2 million dogs a yea are brutally tortured and killed for the dog meat trade and other nefarious purposes.

"We got started in Asia and Thailand, advocating for ending the dog meat trade, and moved to Korea about 12 years ago," Barocas said. "There were no regulations, there was nothing stopping them, and it was done in the open. We're former combat vets who are dedicated to the humanity of saving dogs. We've all been saved by dogs at some time or other, and we're paying it forward."

Every rescued dog has a full medical examination, is given all the appropriate shots, and is spayed or neutered before the animals are sent to foster homes around the world.

"We don't bring animals that have behavior issues or terminal illnesses, and, as Cara can tell you, some of them are the sweetest most lovable animals. The three she's fostering ... well, I fell in love with them when I rescued them," he said.

When the vetted, inoculated, clean and health-verified animals are shipped to the United States, another non-profit, "Pilots for Paws," flies the animals to many destinations, domestic and foreign, for free.

"Rescues know no borders," Geis said. "I get criticized for helping dogs in other countries, but I would help any animal in need anywhere."

For more information on K9 Global Rescue, go to www.k9globalrescue.org or visit www.gofundme.com/K9GR-Korean-Dog-Meat-Farm-Rescue.

Five military dogs awarded K-9 Medal of Courage

                Washington Examiner  by Diana Stancy Correll | Oct 11, 2017, 8:01 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five dogs who served in the U.S. military were awarded the American Humane Lois Pope K-9 Medal of Courage to recognize the canines' extraordinary valor during their time of service.

"By helping locate enemy positions, engage the enemy, and sniff out deadly [improvised explosive devices] and hidden weapons, military dogs have saved countless lives in the fight for freedom and they deserve the recognition they are getting this evening," Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., said Wednesday on Capitol Hill during the awards ceremony.

Four of the dogs who received the awards were present, as one has died. The recipients were Capa, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Alphie, who served in Afghanistan, Coffee, who completed three tours in Afghanistan, Ranger, who served alongside Marines in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and Gabe, who engaged in more than 200 combat missions in Iraq before passing away in 2013.

"Each dog allows so many services members to come home to be moms and dads, or sons and daughters," said Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane.

The Lois Pope K-9 Medal of Courage was created by American Humane and veterans advocate Lois Pope in 2016. Four dogs received the award in its inaugural year. American Humane has worked to assist those in the U.S. military, veterans, and military service animals for more than 100 years.

Dog Fights as Sport Now Illegal in Mexico

Mexico News Daily | Saturday, June 24, 2017

The blood sport of dog fighting became illegal today in Mexico.

Congress approved legislation two months ago to make it illegal to raise and train dogs for participating in fighting matches for recreational purposes. Today it became official with its publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation. Infractions can be punished with up to five years in jail, and fines ranging between 15,098 and 150,980 pesos (US $830 to $8,300, approximately).

If the offender is a public official the jail time can be up to 7.5 years. Infractions apply to related activities such as being in possession of an animal to be used for fighting, or transporting, purchasing or selling them. Organizing, staging, promoting or sponsoring dog fighting events are also included. The director of the Mexican chapter of the non-governmental organization Humane Society International (HSI) told the newspaper La Razón he was happy that the law was finally published.

“We’re happy that all the effort culminated in a victory,” said Daniel Antón Aguilar García, adding that the new law marks the first time animal abuse has become part of the federal criminal code.

“This is a topic that is related to other activities of organized crime groups, so it becomes something positive not only for the animals, but for society at large,” he said.

Aguilar added that HSI will offer free training to federal government officials, as the organization has experience in combating dog fighting. It has experts from the United States who know how to plan raids, document the crime and collect evidence.

Aguilar recalled that a in a 2016 poll, 99% of respondents declared they were against dog fights, and 85% believed organizers should be punished.

Source: La Razón (sp)

Taiwan bans eating dogs and cats. But the meat trade is still big business in Asia.

Agence France-Presse

April 12, 2017 · 1:15 PM EDT

Taiwan has banned the eating of dogs and cats, as pressure grows to improve animal welfare after a spate of cruelty cases that stirred public outrage.Parliament passed legislation to outlaw the consumption, purchase or possession of dog and cat meat, with offenders facing a fine of up to Tw$250,000 ($8,170).Authorities can also name and shame those who break the law."This shows that Taiwan is a society with advanced animal welfare," said lawmaker Wang Yu-min, who proposed the new rules. The bill also hiked the penalty for killing or abusing animals to a maximum two-year jail term and a stiff fine of Tw$2 million. Dog consumption — believed by some in Taiwan to help boost male potency — was common on the island decades ago, but has become less popular amid growing calls to protect animal rights.

In 2001, Taiwan amended its animal protection law to ban the slaughter of pets — which included dogs and cats — for food, although there was no penalty on eating or buying the meat. Sales of pet meat were banned at the end of 2003.

But much-publicized animal abuse cases have continued to trigger deep public concern and demands for tougherprotection laws.Last year, the military was forced to apologize after a video surfaced of three soldiers torturing and strangling a stray dog to death with an iron chain, prompting several street protests. And in 2014, a male hippo famous for regularly performing at a private zoo in central Taiwan died after breaking a leg and sustaining other injuries during transportation, sparking a public outcry. Reactions to the new law were mixed, with some deeming it unfair to only single out cats and dogs for better protection."This is the cute animal protection law? only cute animals are protected while the rest deserve to die?"read one message posted on Apple Daily's website. "Why doesn't the parliament amend laws to toughen punishment on drunk driving, fraud and homicide? what a lousy job it is doing," said another post. Dog meat consumption is also common in countries such as China, Vietnam and South Korea. Last year, China's most notorious dog meat festival drew crowds despite international outrage, as more than 10,000 dogs were killed at the event in conditions activists described as brutal. South Koreans are believed to consume somewhere between 1.5 million to 2.5 million dogs every year, but the meat farming industry is in decline, with little demand among the younger generation. In Vietnam, cat meat — known locally as "little tiger" — is also a delicacy. Although officially banned, it is widely available in specialist restaurants. But not everyone in Vietnam supports eating the creatures that most commonly share human homes as pets. GlobalPost investigated the dog meat trade there and found that in recent years, some villagers have formed angry mobs to maim and even kill dog snatchers.

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Photos © 2017 K9 GLOBAL RESCUE

Read the Whole Story by Kim da-sol at: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=201702270009

[FROM THE SCENE] Removal of Moran dog slaughter facilities begins

Vendors still split on dog slaughter ban in market, call for compensation

The Seongnam City Government has begun the process to remove butchery facilities from South Korea’s largest dog meat market, two months after it decided to ban the slaughter of dogs and display of live dogs in cages there. 

Empty cages are lined up to be removed from dog meat shops at Moran Market in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, Monday. (Kim Da-sol/The Korea Herald)


Kim Yong-buk, a member of the vendors’ association speaking for 22 dog meat dealers, told reporters Monday that vendors agree with the city government’s decision to refurbish the area.

“Following several rounds of talks with the city government, we decided to voluntarily remove dog slaughter facilities in the market to abolish the slaughter of dogs here,” Kim said.

But he was soon interrupted by a group of vendors who yelled at him, saying, “You are such a traitor! What about others who want to continue with the dog meat business? We have yet to receive complete compensation from the government!”

The decision was announced in December by the Seongnam City Government and an association of the vendors at Moran Market, which represents 22 dog meat dealers, among others. 

According to their agreement, the dog meat vendors were to start removing slaughter facilities and dog cages this week and complete the process by early May, in a move officials described as a step toward ending the animal welfare controversy over the industry. 

Moran Market, which opened in the 1960s and sells everything from live animals to antiques, has seen at least 80,000 dogs sold either dead or alive each year. It supplies one-third of all dog meat consumed in the country. Live dogs are kept in cages for customers to choose. They are then slaughtered at the market in plain sight.

Dog meat vendors have been under attack from animal rights groups around the world for their use of brutal methods to slaughter dogs, including electrocution, hanging and beating. 

Seven of the 22 vendors who signed an agreement with the city government have since changed their minds and are now against the removal. They are urging the city government to provide due compensation and support the relocation of their shops to continue their business.

“We cannot agree with the measures and support provided by the city government. We will see a tremendous amount of profit loss when we are forced to ban dog slaughtering here,” said Shin Seung-cheol.

“Almost 80 percent of our customers visit our shops to buy fresh dog meat, what are going to do if we cannot provide it for them? Is the government going to pay us?” Shin asked.

Dogs on sale to be slaughtered and consumed are seen in a cage at Moran Market in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, Monday. (Kim Da-sol/The Korea Herald)


The city said in an agreement signed in early December that it would provide financial support for vendors to refurbish their shops for new businesses. The agreement came as part of the city’s project to remodel the traditional, open-air market.

Vendors were also divided regarding the issue of looking for a new type of business.

“Can you eat food with your left hand when you were a right-handed person for your entire life? It is total nonsense that the city government is asking us to find a new business,” said a vendor who has been trading dog meat for the past 30 years at Moran market.

According to the vendors’ association, 10 of 22 dog meat dealers have already decided that they will go into a different business.

“But those who changed their business are the rich ones, who already raked in money from the dog meat trading business. We, poor tenants from our shops in our part of the market, do not have enough money to find a new business,” someone among the rest of the vendors said. 

The city government said they would push ahead with a plan based on the agreement they made with vendors in December.

“Nothing will change, we will continue to talk with vendors who oppose, but there will be no change in the amount of the government support,” Seongnam City official Kang Won-gu told The Korea Herald.

“All we can do for now is to persuade vendors and continue to crack down on illegal dog slaughtering,” added Kang.

Sign boards, slaughter facilities and dog cages are removed from the dog meat shops in Moran Market in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, Monday. (Kim Da-sol/The Korea Herald)


With no laws being passed to completely make illegal the sale of dog meat so far, butchery, farming and the consumption of dog meat have continued to thrive in a legal gray area.

South Korea’s Livestock Product Sanitary Control Act, which governs the slaughter and disposal of livestock and the processing, distribution and inspection of livestock products, does not categorize dogs as livestock that can be processed as food. 

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)