The kind of terror dogs feel when they're waiting in a cage to be someone's next meal doesn't just disappear when they're rescued.
In fact, it seeps right into their bones, making it hard for them to know when they're finally safe. We've seen too many cases of dogs arriving in the U.S. to begin their lives — and then just freezing up completely.
SPCA of Texas
How do they know helping hands aren't the hurting kind?
Many dogs saved from the South Korean meat industry need time to heal and learn to trust people again.
But these five dogs must have gone through a very special kind of hell. Five months after being rescued, they still couldn't shake the ghosts of their past.
Whenever someone entered their kennel, they cowered and shook and cried. They fell over each other, trying to find ways to disappear.
"None of us been able to go near or touch them so far," Nami Kim, of Save Korean Dogs, told The Dodo.
In order to spay and neuter them, she adds, the dogs had to be tranquilized.
They didn't realize it yet, but these dogs were among the lucky ones.
In South Korea, around 2 million dogs are killed every year for the meat trade — an industry that people like Kim, through Save Korean Dogs, has been chipping away at in recent years.
Sadly, according to the Animal Welfare Institute, the market still adds up to about 100,000 tons of dog meat every year.
And a world of pain that can be hard for even the survivors to put behind them.
But even these dogs will eventually find themselves in real homes.
After all, we've seen countless cases of dogs going from a cramped cage in South Korea …
Kim is making sure the terrified dogs, dubbed the Trauma Troop, follow a similar path. They're currently being transported to homes outside of the country. Their road remains long, but paved in patience and compassion, can only lead to better things.
You can follow that journey though Kim's Facebook page.
Watch a video of these dogs below: