While Olympian Gus Kenworthy didn’t bring home a medal, he still won over the hearts of millions of dog lovers around the world.
The skier and his boyfriend Matt Wilkas visited one of the 17,000 dog farms in South Korea, in which animals are killed for their meat. Calling it a “heart-wrenching” experience Kenworthy says, 2.5 million dogs are raised in the country for their meat, with the animals being tortured and living in inhumane conditions, including being “malnourished and physically abused, crammed into tiny wire-floored pens, and exposed to the freezing winter elements and scorching summer conditions.”
At the farm, he met a dog who he and Wilkas fell in love with. Named Beemo, she’ll be joining the couple in the U.S. after she is given her vaccinations. “I cannot wait to give her the best life possible!” he writes.
As for the other dogs at the farm, Kenworthy says that all 90 will be flying to Canada and the U.S. to find their forever home. The Humane Society International worked with the farmer to help him realize this practice is not okay. The farm will be permanently shut down.
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This morning Matt and I had a heart-wrenching visit 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 some, 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 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 ❤️🐶
This was an encore to 2014, when Kenworthy was in Sochi for the Olympics and brought home stray pups, after the government had imposed an order to kill dogs wandering the street.