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.
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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