Taking time away from competing in the PyeongChang Olympics to visit one of thousands of dog meat farms in the country, Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy fell in love and adopted a very lucky little pup.
The two-time Olympic skier is no stranger to falling in love with dogs while traveling the world with Team USA. In 2014, Kenworthy adopted a pair of stray pups he met during the Sochi Olympics, sparing the duo from certain death at the hands of Russian authorities who’d ordered the city’s stray dog population be rounded up and killed.
This week, while visiting South Korea for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, the animal loving medalist took time away from competing to join Humane Society International on a tour of one of the 17,000 dog meat farms in the country.
During that visit, Humane Society International convinced the farmer to shut down operations and release all 90 of their dogs to the rescue organization. Eighty-nine of those dogs will arrive at shelters and rescues in the United States and Canada where they’ll be fully vetted and adopted to loving forever homes. One of them, a tiny ball of fluff, has already found her forever with Kenworthy, who immediately fell in love with the Husky-mix pup and named her Beemo.
Kenworthy posted about his new love, and the plight of dogs in South Korea, to Instagram:
This morning Matt and I had a heart-wrenching visited 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 the Korean public at large, 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 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. #dogsarefriendsnotfood #adoptdontshop ❤️🐶
Kenworthy added, “there are still millions of dogs here in need of help though… 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.