Ten of 30 dogs brought to the San Diego Humane Society after being rescued from the South Korean meat industry were made available for adoption Friday and for the weekend.
The Tosas, golden retrievers and huskies, ranging from 6 months to 2 years old, were brought to San Diego about three weeks ago. The Humane Society said they were kept in filthy and cramped cages, received little food or veterinary care, and suffered from disease and malnutrition. However, they've since been treated for any medical issues, and also vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed or neutered.
"Helping to end the horrors of the dog meat trade is a critical mission for us," said Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society. "We have pledged to keep San Diego at zero euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals -- and we will keep that promise -- but that doesn't mean we will ever turn our backs on other animals in need."
On Friday, one of the dogs caught the eyes of Ellie and Matthew Green.
"We really want to take him home. He just needs a family to love him," Matthew Green said of one of the adoptable dogs, Peter.
"Especially the position he was in. It was sad," added Ellie Green.
"Amazing animals; definitely friendly and outgoing. So sad to hear what's happened to these animals," said North Park resident George Barrera.
The dogs look like many of the animals you see at a shelter.
"He's definitely the most social one we have by far as you can see. He's very playful," said San Diego Humane Society spokeswoman Stacy Archambault, as she petted a golden retriever Mintzu.
Because of their past, these dogs will need owners who are extra patient and loving.
"A lot of them, with the exception of Mintzu, are very shy and fearful," said Archambault.
The Greens had a chance to spend some time with Peter.
"He's a nice dog. He's a gentle giant; [he] just needs a loving home," said Matthew Green.
The Greens are in the process of moving to San Diego so they haven't made any decisions yet.
If you're not completely ready to own a rescue, the Humane Society is also looking for foster families.
Back in South Korea, many of the farmers who raised dogs for meat are now making a living farming blueberries and rice.
The other 20 remain under care at the society's Behavior Center, where shy or fearful dogs gain the confidence they need for easier transitions to being pets.