On the Sunday morning when I stepped off the bus and onto the farm for the first time, I could hear barking from many directions. There was a dog outside the office that was tethered to a wire cable that ran up and down a 10 foot run. This was the pet, she looked emaciated, her fur was in bad shape and she was covered in fleas. This prepared me to what I was about to witness. Walking up the dirt drive was another pet with a thick heavy chain tied to her collar that gave her about 6 feet of freedom. She was also emaciated and covered in fleas, she lived under a corrugated tin shelter that was full of her own feces, she was petrified and hid her face in the dirt as we walked on up to the farm.
I saw the first row of cages with dogs jumping up and down barking and wagging their tails, they were all tan colored with darker muzzles, they looked a cross between a mastiff and a Rhodesian ridgeback dog, I was told that these were the typical meat dogs in South Korea and had no value as pets. I placed my hands on each cage and every dog tried to sniff and lick my hand. They were so beautiful and loving, many dogs snapped at each other wanting to get as much attention as possible for themselves. Large dogs and smaller dogs barked constantly, jumping up and down frantically.
Behind these cages were more cages, all open aired and full of feces, their food bowls were empty and in the warm sunshine I noticed they had no water. Dog after dog after dog displayed the same actions, many uncontrollable. I could feel myself breaking inside and I teared up. I had to keep my composure as I was trying to film these beautiful animals so the world could see the conditions they were living in. I walked past a mincer with a huge bowl underneath it to catch the food that was prepared for all the animals. There were millions of flies and maggots crawling through whatever had been minced, the stench was horrendous.
I covered my face as I approached the puppy enclosure that was under cover; female dogs and their young were in these raised metal wire cages that the dogs could barely stand in because of the gaps in the base. Each of the puppies would drop a leg through and stumble; there was no flooring to make a footing and as they grew older, their feet became deformed because they had to adapt to the conditions. Below the cages were piles of feces that dropped through the metal encrusted wire, old hypodermic needles and maggots were included. On top of the cages were bottles of drugs and used hypodermic needles that the farmer would inject into the dogs; I had no idea what was in these bottles, but they were not kept in a refrigerator. The female dogs barked, some growled to protect their puppies, others wagged their tails.