Paws, Awws, & A Good Cause
The 2018 Winter Olympics may have come to a close, but one USA athlete is still making headlines—and for an AWW-worthy reason. You may remember hearing about freestyle skier and Silver Medalist Gus Kenworthy in 2014 after he helped rescue a stray dog and her puppies from the streets of Sochi, Russia. After a long journey to the States, the “Sochi Pups” are living healthy and happy lives (now-grown puppies Jake and Mishka live with Kenworthy’s ex-boyfriend Robin MacDonald in Vancouver while mama Mamuchka spends her days with Kenworthy’s mom in Telluride, Colorado).
Well, four years later, and Gus’ at it again, this time adopting a fur-baby named Beemo from PyeongChang, South Korea. Even before the 2018 Games began, the Olympian said he planned to bring at least one more dog home to the U.S., hoping to draw attention to the dog meat farms that exist around the country in the process.
In South Korea, the dog meat trade means millions of dogs are raised for food each year, often living inhumane conditions. Kenworthy shared via Instagram that he and his boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas, visited a dog meat farm outside of Seoul, describing harrowing conditions. “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,” he wrote in his caption.
The good news is that the dog meat farm Kenworthy visited is being permanently shut down with the help of Humane Society International, and the 90 other dogs, like Beemo, will be flown to the United States and Canada and are on the road to finding their fur-ever homes.
On March 18th, Kenworthy was reunited with Beemo after her long journey from South Korea. Kenworthy commented on his Instagram, “Our sweet puppy Beemo is finally out of quarantine and was reunited with us today and I couldn’t be happier!!! It breaks my heart to think that she was being raised for slaughter. I can’t thank the Humane Society International (@hsiglobal) enough for shutting down the dog meat farm she was on and for bringing all 90 dogs back safely! Go support @hsiglobal!!! #DogsAreFriendsNotFood.”