Rescue dogs escaping Asian meat trade travel 10,000 km to Canada

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TORONTO – A Korean Air cargo plane landed at Pearson airport Saturday with an unusual cargo: 11 rescue dogs escaping a potentially gruesome fate in South Korea.

Listowel, Ont.-based group Angel Arms Rescue and Korean partner group Team Osan brought the canines to Canada this weekend, sparing them a future on a restaurant menu.

“They rescue them and do the vetting, they fly them over to us and we meet them, get them into good foster homes and get them adopted,” Angel Arms co-head Kathy Dunn-Melito explained.

Korea has a long cultural tradition of eating dog meat, although the practice is increasingly controversial in part because the farming process is lightly regulated and animals suffer due to those lax standards. Dunn-Melito says Team Osan recently rescued 27 dogs from a meat farmer who was feeding them garbage and restaurant scraps.

She says the rescue operation aims not just to save dogs, but give Ontarians another ethical option for getting a dog.

The dogs took hours to clear customs, but were met with some enthusiastic foster parents.

Cassidy Weber was at Pearson to pick up her fourth Korean foster dog.

“They’re all amazing, I fall in love with every one,” she said.

“I heard about this rescue and what they’re doing, and there was no way I couldn’t get involved with it,” Cindy Yack said.

Dunn-Melito says the next canine contingent arrives February 10. Aoptive or foster parents are always welcome.

© Shaw Media, 2016

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