As the closing ceremonies marked the end of the games, Olympic Medalist Meagan Duhamel returned home to her family but she had a renewed mission. And that mission is to raise awareness and rescue South Korean meat dogs. As many Olympic hopefuls and winners did, Duhamel is hoping that the Olympics will raise awareness and will encourage people from around the world to open their hearts and homes to these dogs.
The First Special Adoption for the Olympic Hopeful
While much of the spotlight over the South Korean meat dog crisis has been during the Olympics, the issue has been in the public eye for years. Every year, over 2 million dogs are raised and sold as meat in South Korea alone.
The practice of consuming dog meat is seen in several Asian countries. This includes North Korea, China, and Vietnam (to list a few). When the figure skater and her skating partner attended the Four Continents in 2017, which was a test run for the Olympic rink, she made the effort to help fly a meat dog home to Canada with her.
And that’s when she met Moo-tae, a miniature dachshund mix. A former meat dog, Moo-tae was rescued from a meat farm by Buddhist monks.
Through Free Korean Dogs, Duhamel arranged to pick up Moo-tae. Traveling with him was another dog, Sara. They then proceeded to fly them back to Canada. When she did, Moo-tae found his new home with her.
Moo-tae and Sara boarded the plane to a new life in Canada: Moo-tae with a Duhamel and Sara to a family waiting for her.
Duhamel’s Mission and Focus
While she competed in the Olympics, Duhamel continued to raise awareness about the South Korean meat dog industry. Along with other Olympians, Duhamel appeared in a PSA advertisement and hopes to shutter several dog meat farms.
In addition, she encouraged anyone flying from South Korea to bring a dog back with them for the rescue group to place.
One of the biggest aids that South Korean rescue groups have had is the help of anyone flying back to Canada or the US to bring a dog back with them. This helps cut down on the cost of flying the dogs to their new homes. In addition, it ensures that the rescue group can funnel their funds into saving the dogs and rehabilitating them.
Urging other Olympic participants to fly with a meat dog, that goal didn’t happen. Airlines too packed for additional dogs turned travelers away. Still, she managed a flight for another lucky rescue. His new home in Canada with another family.
What’s Next for the Olympic Medalist
Right now, Duhamel is happy to be home with Moo-tae, her other rescue dog, a beagle named Theo, and her rescue cat, Zara.
For Moo-tae, life has definitely changed for him. He has taken it in stride, fitting right into his new life and being an important part of the family. While he may have forgotten his past, Duhamel hasn’t and she hopes that people will continue to focus on the South Korean meat dog industry.
Encouraging others involvement, even her own parents adopted a meat dog from South Korea. However, she knows not everyone has the space to adopt. And her mission is seeing progress.
Awareness has increased. Dogs have been saved. Additionally, more people are taking the time to fly with the dogs from South Korea. Finally, people across North America are following the Olympic medalist’s steps and opening their hearts and their homes to a rescued meat dog.
Interested in finding out more, visit Free Korean Dogs.