Help Korean Animals

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

Stay Informed

Join our mailing list to receive action alerts and campaign updates!

Latest News

A Commodity of Cruelty

Pet dog populations are on the rise in the dog markets

DURING THE YEARS OF 1988-2005, I visited the dog markets many times, to investigate, raise awareness, and to expose the cruelties of the markets to the worldwide media. When I first arrived in the 80s, I would always see what were usually sold for slaughter: the gentle, large yellow mixed-breed dogs preferred by dog-eaters in Korea. However, as the years went by, I was shocked to discover ever-increasing numbers of small purebred and mixedbreed dogs locked up there, dogs that would normally be marketed as pets! (Editor's note: see above image!) The fact that these pet dogs, usually cherished and treated with kindness, should end up in the meat markets is just another reminder of the cruelty and sadness the dog meat industry traffics in.

About 20% of all dogs in the meat markets these days are not farm-raised: how they respond to humans is indicative of their upbringing. The farm-raised dogs have been brought up in atrocious conditions and great suffering, often already infected with various transmittable diseases by the time they would arrive at market. They would not bark when I would draw near, and would barely express themselves in any way. The pet dogs, by contrast, are quite animated. They are generally smaller dogs because of the state of Korean cities, which are dense, compact, and filled with high-rise apartments. City-dwellers do not generally adopt the larger dogs, which require more exercise and space.

The disturbing trend of pet dogs in the meat markets has been on the rise in tragic parallel with the increase in popularity of pet dogs. It is our goal to imbue pet owners with a greater sense of responsibility, now that we have seen the evidence that their abandoned pets end up here. We must also continue our work to ultimately shut down the Korean dog and cat meat markets, through legislation and education, so that no dog need suffer these abuses. ‡

Large yellow dogs typical of the Korean meat markets