Simon Cowell, known as the former judge on America’s Got Talent and American Idol, donated $42,000 to the Humane Society International (HSI) to help save 200 dogs from a South Korean dog meat farm.
Ninety of the dogs were temporarily sheltered this week at a Cambridge trucking company before being taken to another shelter in Montreal for rehabilitation, socialization and eventual adoption.
Ewa Demianowicz, a campaign manager for Humane Society International Canada, said Cowell donated money for this particular farm closure after hearing about the HSI project from the organization’s U.K. branch.
“They [U.K colleagues] were bringing some dogs back with them as well,” Demianowicz said. “Simon Cowell heard about the campaign and decided to support it. And this is great because it spreads the word about what is happening.”
This is the 13th dog meat farm in the last three years the HSI was instrumental in shutting down.
Some pets still wearing collars
The almost 14 hour flight from South Korea was the first part of the dogs’ trip. Friday they were taken to Montreal where they will be receive veterinary care, then be rehabilitated, socialized and ultimately adopted. Another 110 dogs saved from the farm were sent directly to the U.K, the U. S. and the Netherlands.
Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International Canada was at the facility when the latest dogs were saved.
“Breeding dogs were crammed into miserable, filthy cages and the puppies were destined for brutal slaughter in the coming months,” Aldworth said in a statement. “It was clear that many of the dogs were former pets, with some still wearing collars.”
Work to refocus farmers
This is the third farm this year closed by HSI, which also works with South Korean farmers to find another way to farm and make a living.
Ewa Demianowicz explained that someone working for HSI enters into a negotiation and offers financial compensation to the farmer to help them make a transition to find another line of farming that doesn’t involve animals.
“So for example: Blueberry farming, or water parsley farming. We had a farmer that once bought trucks and did water distribution in his community,” said Demianowicz.
“Part of the agreement is the condition that the animals currently on the farm are released to us.”
Information on adopting the dogs can be found on the HSI website.