During his trip to South Korea TOWIE star, Pete Wicks helped rescue 170 dogs from squalid conditions and certain death while he campaigned to end canine farms.
Wicks, a well-known dog lover, an Essex boy, flew to the Far East with Humane Society International to help save canines facing death in the depraved meat factories.
In Namyangju there is an animal processing farm. It is one of an estimated 17,000 dog farms in South Korea that breed more than 2.5 million canines a year, to be devoured at annual dog meat festivals.
The poor dogs are routinely kept in filthy, unsanitary conditions. They spend their lives in wire cages with no protection from the elements.
When Wicks investigated the farms and festivals that drive the market, he saw mastiffs, spaniels, and greyhounds living miserable lives in cages.
The warm-hearted star chose to rescue 170 dogs and bring 13 of the pups home with him, including a beagle, a Korean jindo, and a golden retriever.
After they have had thorough health checkups, the ‘Lucky 13’ are due to be adopted in the new year. The remaining 157 will go to the US and Canada, to find their forever homes.
‘Seeing for myself the horror of a dog meat farm has been one of the most emotional experiences of my life,’ Pete said.
‘Some of the dogs I met were terrified, and you can’t blame them because they’ve seen the cruel side of humanity, but I couldn’t believe how friendly most of them were despite everything they’ve been through. The way they wagged their tails just broke my heart. Despite going through hell, they still wanted to be our friends. That was so humbling.’
Wicks said the thought of his own beloved dog spending even one day in the squalid conditions would break his heart.
‘Pete has been an absolutely fantastic ambassador for our beautiful dogs. From the moment he stepped foot on the dog farm he’s been part of the team, mucking in with filling the cages with warm straw against the bitter cold, comforting dogs traumatised and frightened, and helping to load the dog crates on the transport as day by day the dogs leave the farm behind them,’ said a spokesperson for Humane Society International who sang Pete’s praise.
Pete has urged politicians to take action and help Humane Society International to stamp out the cruel trade forever. Pete lost his beloved best friend Ernest, a French bulldog. He paid tribute on Instagram, posting a picture of himself with the canine.
He wrote: ‘Words can’t describe how heartbroken I am to have suddenly lost one of the best things that have ever come into my life. My boy Ernest wasn’t just a dog to me, he was my best friend. Things will never be the same again. I’m thankful to him for teaching me things about myself and everything about unconditional love. He will always be in my heart. RIP Ernest #Wolfpack (sic).’
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