LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A group of dogs had quite a journey to get to a Pennsylvania shelter. They came from a dog meat farm in South Korea after the owners agreed to shut the facility down.
The dogs became available for adoption Wednesday at the Lancaster County SPCA, including Reba, a hound mix.
Those at the shelter say these dogs will need someone with patience, but they are quickly adjusting to life outside their small wire cages. That’s the only lives they’ve known.
Owen, a two-and-a-half-year-old Mastiff, goes on a walk with his foster dad Justin Trout, Jr. at their Willow Street home, but his life used to be much different.
“We received in five dogs that were taken from meat farms in South Korea,” said Susan Martin, executive director of the Lancaster County SPCA.
Humane Society International rescued 250 dogs from the meat farm in South Korea.
“While we have traditional sort of meat dogs as they’re thought of, we also have a mixed Retriever here. We have purebred Golden Retrievers, purebred Huskies. We have Labradors,” said Adam Parascandola, director of Animal Protection and Disaster Response with Humane Society International.
The ones who came to the Lancaster County SPCA are making strides in adjusting to life as domestic dogs.
“They are making progress,” Martin said. “They are starting to come to the front of the cage and allow us to pet them and becoming more friendly and used to the daily routine here and starting to be handled.”
Owen has made amazing progress in the few days he’s been in foster care.
“Life outside of a cage was nothing to him. Grass was new, everything was new. Everything was scary. It all had to be desensitized. He’s still being desensitized to all those things,” Trout said.
Trout said his foster dog is really fascinated with vacuum cleaners. Owen is already housebroken and knows how to walk on a leash.
Some ABC27 News viewers wondered why the shelter was helping dogs from South Korea instead of local dogs. Martin says the shelter usually has extra space for dogs. She says those who adopt the dogs from South Korea will have to give them extra training and care.
“They’re definitely dogs that are going to take a little more patience and time just because they have not been socialized, and they have lived in a cage their entire life, a wire cage,” Martin said.
Trout feels satisfied to give Owen a second lease on life.
“It makes me feel so happy at the end of the day that he is able to be what he wants to be now and able to roam and develop his own personality and thrive,” Trout said.
“We’re hopeful we’ll have families come in and take them and love them and give them a second chance,” Martin said.
The Lancaster County SPCA may get five more dogs from the South Korean meat farm.
Those who are interested in adopting them can visit the shelter at 848 South Prince Street in Lancaster or call them at 717-917-6979. You can also visit their Facebook page by clicking here.