Olympic Skier Saves 90 Dogs In South Korea From Animal Cruelty

After representing his country in PyeongChang on the slopes, Gus Kenworthy turned to his other passion: animal welfare. He convinced a dog farmer to shut down his operation.

He even fell in love with one lucky pooch and adopted him.

Animal advocates are hailing Gus Kenworthy as a hero, and not just because he is an Olympic athlete. The animal lover is a hero because he saved 90 dogs from a cruel fate.

The freestyle skier, who won a silver medal four years ago in Sochi, is also an animal advocate, and when he wasn’t on the slopes he was trying to raise awareness about the plight of dogs in South Korea.

Only a small percentage of the population in Asian nations continue to eat dog meat, and the popularity of the dish is on the decline. Still, traditionalists believe that eating canine will help balance the body's energy and that it helps promote vitality.

In some Asian countries, it's a cheaper alternative to other meats, and they serve dog to unsuspecting tourists.

The dog meat market is not regulated the way the cattle, pork or chicken markets are. Conditions in which the dogs are raised and slaughtered are less than sanitary, making the practice highly questionable for consumption.

Adding to the controversy, the dogs often endure terrible treatment when they are alive, and are slaughtered in horrific ways for their meat. Dogs may be crowded into filthy, rusting cages and fed little more than scraps.

When it comes time to harvest them, the animals may be beaten to death, strangled, electrocuted or starved. It's because of this treatment and the health concerns that many have sought to put a stop to the practice.

When the Olympics were coming to PyeongChang, local food service establishments were asked to stop offering dog meat to avoid offending the many tourists that would be coming to the area. Many complied, but some refused and complained that they were going to lose business.

There are 17,000 dog farms across South Korea, but one is now out of business thanks to Kenworthy. He teamed up with the Humane Society International and used his celebrity to persuade the farmer to close down and turn over the pups in his possession.

Some 90 dogs have been freed and are on their way to the U.S. and Canada, where they will receive medical treatment and be put up for adoption.

One dog won't have to wait that long. Kenworthy fell in love with one furry pup, and that dog will be staying with the athlete. Named Beemo, photos show Kenworthy cuddling his new fur baby.

“I cannot wait to give her the best life possible!” he said in an Instagram post.

The ski champ says he understands there are cultural differences, but that it's no excuse to let the dog meat market continue. "Yes, there is an argument to be made that eating dogs is a part of Korean culture," he wrote on Instagram.

"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."

Source: Animal Channel
Photo: YouTube

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