All images via Gus Kenworthy/Instagram

Olympic Skier Gus Kenworthy Rescues 90 Dogs from South Korean Meat Farms

Including a pup for himself he named Beemo.

This post was originally published on February 27, 2018, but the story has been edited to reflect Kenworthy's decision to compete for Great Britain in 2022. 

Gus Kenworthy is a powerful freestyle skier. He will ride for Great Britain in 2022 and is a two-time Olympian, bringing home the silver medal in 2014 for the United States from Sochi, Russia. He brought something different home from the PyeongChang Winter Olympics however, but some may argue these were better than medals. 

Gus posted the news on Instagram that he and his boyfriend helped shut down one of South Korea's many dog farms. The 90 emaciated and abused dogs will now be going back to the United States and Canada to try to find "fur-ever homes."

Gus and his boyfriend Matt Wilkas (Gus was also one of the first Olympians to identify as gay) toured a dog meat farm and were understandably disturbed. The dogs were stuffed in cages and when it was time to be disposed of, they were electrocuted in front of all the other dogs. The scene was similar to what USA TODAY journalists witnessed during their heart-wrenching visit to a dog farm just miles from the Olympic Village in PyeongChang.

dog meat farm

Gus wrote in the Instagram post:

"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."

dog meat farm

This particular farm is being shut down with the help of Humane Society International and it seems the owner seems repentant and has "seen error in his ways."

dog meat

Dog is eaten on the menu in countless restaurants in South Korea. There are an estimated 17,000 dog meat farms supplying these restaurants and while some dogs are bred for meat at the farms or found as stray dogs, others are stolen pets and sold into the trade. The disturbing conditions the dogs are kept in is also not right from an animal welfare standpoint.

dog meat farm

While it is considered a tradition to eat dog meat in certain Asian countries, Korean culture claims it has "mythical properties that boost restorative powers and increase virility," dog meat is largely consumed by the older population. 

dog meat farm

Many in South Korea believe that the tradition will fade with time with more and more Koreans keeping dogs as pets including President Moon Jae-In. Countries like Taiwan have already banned the sale of dog meat

dog meat farm

Gus adopted two dogs after the Winter Games in Sochi, and has officially kept one new furry friend from PyeongChang. Gus and Matt named her Beemo and they can't wait to give her the best life.

Gus hopes to bring awareness to the mistreatment of dogs all around the world with his Olympic status, including right at home in the U.S.

"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!"

He urges fellow dog lovers to visit the Humane Society' International's website to see where they can help.

What do you think of skier Gus Kenworthy saving all these dogs? Tell us in the comments below. 

All images via Gus Kenworthy/Instagram

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