NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- In Korea dogs are a source of food, but Humane Society International, rescued the dogs and now some are heading to Hampton Roads.
HSI's project focuses on converting dog meat farms to other forms of farming, like vegetables.
Now one hundred fifteen dogs from South Korea have a new chance at life thanks to the effort.
Three dogs are making their way to Hampton Roads to meet Ellen Thacker and the team at the Peninsula SPCA, in Newport News.
Thacker is the Executive Director of the Peninsula SPCA. She said she’s happy to help the 10-month-old Korean Jindo mixes escape their grim conditions.
She added that Human Society International asked them to be one of the shelters nationwide to find the rescued dogs their forever home.
“So when this rescue was going to happen we raised our hands and said yes we want to be part of it,” she said.
Thacker said this is their shelter’s first time rescuing international puppies.
“Its not that anybody there [South Korea] is doing anything bad. It’s just a different way of seeing things, but something that they’re evolving out of and you know we’re very happy to help with that,” she said.
She thinks this rescue is part of a cultural shift in Korea, where dogs are no longer food but companions.
“They are making a push, and I think with the Olympics coming, it is a very good time to bring that focus to Korea,” said Thacker
Pat Curran said he’s ready to adopt one of the puppies. He even showed up early on the day the dogs arrived.
“I thought wow this is cool. I was just amazed that they ended up coming here,” said Curran.
Curran said the Jindo is a meaningful gift for his daughter and wife, who are Korean and live in Newport News.
“They’re known as extremely loyal. They’re wonderful companion animals,” explained Curran.
Thacker said these dogs will be up for adoption as early as tomorrow. However, that's not a definite date because the dogs will need time to adjust to their new surroundings, and make sure they are looked at by veterinarians.