This year, Canadian pair skater Meagan Duhamel is leaving the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with at least one gold medal, as part of the winning Canada skate team. Last year, she came back from the country with a dog.
The vegan figure skater rescued her mini-dachshund Moo-tae, destined for a dog meat farm, from the country during a visit last February, reports New York Post.
Duhamel, a two-time world champion, hopes that other animal-loving athletes take the opportunity to save a canine during the Olympics.
In South Korea, close to two million dogs are raised on meat farms in horrible conditions each year and then slaughtered to be served as a delicacy. Dog meat dishes can be found throughout the country, including in Pyeongchang.
Free Korean Dogs is one of the groups working to save dogs from the South Korea dog meat trade and bring them to other countries to be adopted out. The non-profit united Duhamel with her beloved Moo-tae last year, driving the dog eight hours to meet the skater, where she was competing in a test run for the Olympics, so she could take the innocent pup home.
Along with saving her dog, Duhamel also brought another dog meat farm rescue back to Montreal to be adopted out to another family.
Moo-tae didn’t arrive in North America injury-free, the pet will have misshapen legs for the rest of his life due to the abuse he experienced as a puppy.
But the little pup seems eager to put that behind him, quickly adjusting to the loving, safe life he has with Duhamel.
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“Most of the time, he just wants to sit in everybody’s arms,” she told the Associated Press. “He doesn’t even care to play, he just walks up to everybody and wants to be held.”
Duhamel plans to bring another dog meat farm survivor home on her return trip from the Pyeongchang Olympics, she hopes other athletes will do the same even if they can’t adopt the dog themselves and need to have it adopted out at home instead.