Olympian Skier Gus Kenworthy Saves 90 Pups From Dog Meat Farm

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
American Olympian Gus Kenworthy may not have brought a gold medal home, but he’s bringing home something even more priceless–a new furry family member– as he helped save 90 other animals from one of South Korea’s dog meat farms.

The Olympics have been amazing to watch, and we’ve been so thankful to see so much spotlight shed on the heartbreaking dog meat farm industries that are so widespread in South Korea. Olympians from all over the world have voiced their sadness over the treatment of dogs in these farms, and many have adopted dogs rescued from these farms.

Related: Hooray for Happy Endings! Meet Skier Gus Kenworthy’s Sochi Street Pups

Like American skier Gus Kenworthy, a known animal-advocate and adoptive doggie daddy to two dogs he adopted when competing in the Sochi, Russia games four years ago. Kenworthy and his partner Matthew Wilkas toured one of South Korea’s 17,000 dog meat farms and posted gut-wrenching words and pictures on his Instagram account.

At long last, I've found them! Today is a happy day 🙂

A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on Feb 11, 2014 at 7:08am PST

Kenworthy told followers that there are 2.5 million dogs that were being raised for food and that while he was respectful of the Korean culture, he was very disturbed by the inhumane conditions the dogs were being held in. He called it inhumane and said that even cultural mores should not be allowed to be excuses for cruelty.

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. ❤️🐶

A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on Feb 23, 2018 at 8:10am PST

Kenworthy said that though he’d been told that the animals at the farm he was visiting were held in ‘good conditions,’ he found that not to be the case, and instead, the farm is now being shut down and the 90 dogs held there will be flown to the United States and Canda to be put up for adoption. The Humane Society International is helping with the efforts.

Related: Winter Olympians Raise Awareness Against Korean Dog Meat Industry

Kenworthy hopes that his visit and sharing of conditions will continue to raise awareness about the plight of dogs there and everywhere, showing that inhumane treatment happens all over and that dogs need loving homes all over the world.

And proving he’s not all talk and no walk, Kenworthy shared a picture of Beemo, their newest baby and rescued pup from one of the farms. Kenworthy will be bringing her home as soon as she is current on vaccinations, and encourages people to look to make a difference in the lives of dogs everywhere.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

More by Lori Ennis