ELMHURST, Ill. -- An 18-wheeler backed into the driveway of an Illinois animal care center with a special delivery: More than 60 dogs rescued from a dog meat farm and puppy mill in South Korea.
"It's estimated that roughly 2.5 million dogs are slaughtered each year for meat," said Andrew Plumbly, Humane Society International.
Humane Society International has worked to close down more than a dozen dog meat farms in South Korea over the past few years. The industry is in decline, but these dogs were rescued from a location that also served as a puppy mill.
"The conditions are nightmarish," Plumbly said. "The farms aren't really farms. They look more like junkyards with lots and lots of cages stacked on top of one another with miserable dogs in them."
About 200 dogs were flown from South Korea to a Humane Society location in Toronto. From there, the organization reached out to shelters across the Midwest to take in dozens of dogs.
Montean LaPorte is taking home one of them; she has fostered many dogs over the years and said it can be heartbreaking, but it's worth it to see their transformation.
"Some mill rescues you get, they'll just look at the corner and they can't give you eye contact," she said.
Some of the dogs are ready to go to foster homes today, while others will get medical care at Elmhurst Animal Care Center before being placed with foster families. Eventually all of the dogs will be placed in foster homes where they will be doted upon until they are placed in their new forever homes.
60 dogs rescued from South Korean meat farm, puppy mill arrive in the US