Gus Kenworthy Is Up to His Old Tricks — Rescuing Puppies After the Olympics

Gus Kenworthy Is Up to His Old Tricks — Rescuing Puppies After the Olympics

We'd give him a gold medal for puppy protection!

By Brienne Walsh

The last time freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy competed in the Olympics was at Sochi in 2014. He left the games with a silver medal and a pair of stray dogs he rescued from the streets near the Olympic Village. The dogs, whose names are Jake and Miscka, are now social media stars, with over 39,000 followers.

This time, Kenworthy took his heroism one step further. After he was done competing, he visited a South Korean dog meat farm with his boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas, and rescued a puppy named Beemo.

According to the AP, the Olympic competitor also convinced the man who owns the farm to close down his operation, and release all 90 other dogs to the Humane Society International (HIS). The organization plans on putting them up for adoption in the United States and Canada — just in case you’re looking for an absolutely adorable puppy!

In a lengthy Instagram post, Kenworthy explained that the dogs he encountered were kept in deplorable conditions, exposed to the freezing elements, malnourished, and forced to watch their kind electrocuted. Honestly, it sounds worse than a Game of Thrones episode — and Kenworthy says that he was told this farm was humane in comparison to others.

Kenworthy also noted that there are reputedly 17,000 dog meat farms in South Korea, with an estimated 2.5 million dogs bred for human consumption.

Although he tries not to judge South Korean culture for consuming dog meat, Kenworthy says what is obvious — “culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty.” The dogs, he notes, are just like our pets at home — they feel pain, they suffer, and they love.

This morning Matt and I had a heart-wrenching visit to one of the 17,000 dog farms here in South Korea. Across the country there are 2.5 million dogs being raised for food in some of the most disturbing conditions imaginable. Yes, there is an argument to be made that eating dogs is a part of Korean culture. And, while don't personally agree with it, I do agree that it's not my place to impose western ideals on the people here. The way these animals are being treated, however, is completely inhumane and culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty. I was told that the dogs on this particular farm were kept in "good conditions" by comparison to other farms. 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. Despite the beliefs of some, these dogs are no different from the ones we call pets back home. Some of them were even pets at one time and were stolen or found and sold into the dog meat trade. Luckily, this particular farm (thanks to the hard work of the Humane Society International and the cooperation of a farmer who's seen the error of his ways) is being permanently shut down and all 90 of the dogs here will be brought to the US and Canada where they'll find their fur-ever homes. I adopted the sweet baby in the first pic (we named her Beemo) and she'll be coming to the US to live with me as soon as she's through with her vaccinations in a short couple of weeks. I cannot wait to give her the best life possible! There are still millions of dogs here in need of help though (like the Great Pyrenees in the 2nd pic who was truly the sweetest dog ever). 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! Go to @hsiglobal's page to see how you can help. #dogsarefriendsnotfood #adoptdontshop ❤️🐶

A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on

Ok, now we’re crying.

Kenworthy hopes that his visit raises awareness for the plight of these poor creatures, and notes that if you want to help, you can follow HSI’s Instagram page. And just because they deserve it, give your own dogs a hug — if you can’t kiss the poor pups living in freezing conditions in South Korea, you can at least lavish those closest to you with love.

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