Beagles rescued from a South Korean puppy mill that was producing them for lab research arrived in Washington state Wednesday to find new homes.
Seattle Beagle Rescue made arrangements to bring the dogs to Washington from South Korea, where the animals faced a horrible fate, according to Meg Von Haartman.
"The owner of the puppy mill was dying of cancer," said Von Haartman, as she held one dog close. "He started selling all the beagles off to the meat trade. In this particular place, it sounded like the breeder was selling them to neighbors to eat."
Von Haartman has been collecting pictures as proof of what her group has learned about the research labs and the conditions inside the puppy mill. Rescuers say cages, cramped and dirty, were the dogs' way of life for a long time until a woman stepped in and purchased the beagles. She moved the dogs to a temporary home in South Korea.
"She is just a very compassionate animal lover, and couldn't stand to see animals being sold to be eaten," said Von Haartman.
She added that the woman wanted permanent homes for the dogs, and that is how Seattle Beagle Rescue became involved.
Two beagles arrived Wednesday, and ten more will be coming soon. It costs about $500 to bring each animal from South Korea to Sea-Tac Airport. The nonprofit relies on donations and volunteers to make it happen.
The dogs are being taken in by foster families for now.
"Every little bit of help counts," said Von Haartman.
Learn more about Seattle Beagle Rescue's efforts to help homeless hounds.