Award-winning photographer Sophie Gamand, who is famous for taking photos of pit bulls to help get them adopted, has teamed up with Humane Society International to take photos of dogs who are bred for human consumption in South Korea.

Source: The Humane Society of the United States/YouTube

The portraits feature more than 40 dogs who were rescued from dog meat farms and are now a part of loving families in the United States. Overall, Humane Society International has rescued more than 2,500 dogs. The series is titled “Survivors of the Dog Meat Trade” and will appear for a limited time at the Hamilton-Selway Fine Art gallery in West Hollywood, Ca.

Ruby, dog meat trade survivor

Source: Sophie Gamand/For HSI

“Through this series I want people to see these dogs for the strong and beautiful beings that they are. I created handmade collars for these survivors because dog collars are a powerful symbol of love, commitment and care. Joining Humane Society International on one of its dog meat farm rescue missions opened my eyes to both the disturbing conditions in which these dogs live, and the resilience they constantly show.” 

Dogs in this industry are bred in rows of cages on rundown farms and are subjected to all kinds of weather extremes. They receive very little food or water and get pressure sores from sleeping on the wire mesh floor of their cages. 

Portrait of Juliette, a dog meat trade survivor

Source: Sophie Gamand/For HSI

One of the survivors of these farms is Juliette, who was rescued a couple of years ago and then adopted by Daniel Henney, an actor on the show The Wheel of Time. Henney recalled working on a film in Korea and seeing cages of dogs stacked outside restaurants, calling it “profoundly affecting.” 

“I’m immensely proud that my dog Juliette is one of the dog meat trade survivors featured in Sophie Gamand’s portrait project for Humane Society International. I hope to see an end, a complete end, to the dog meat trade in South Korea. I think it’s not a matter of if, but when it will happen,” said Henney.

Axl, dog meat trade survivor

 Source: Sophie Gamand/For HSI

For the past seven years, HSI has been working with farmers in South Korea to help them to transition to other forms of business, including growing chili and water parsley. Many of the farmers want to get into another line of work because the business is becoming less lucrative and more controversial.  

HSI estimates over one million dogs are languishing on farms in South Korea. However, an official task force was created last year by their government that is considering banning the practice. The new President, Yoon Seok-yeol, has also stated that he will support the ban as long as there is a consensus among the people. 

Chewbacca, a dog meat trade survivor

Source: Sophie Gamand/For HSI

Jeffrey Flocken, the president of Humane Society International and dog parent to Chewbacca, one of the dogs involved in the project, is looking forward to that day: 

“HSI’s campaign is focused on ending the dog meat industry in South Korea, the only country in the world that intensively farms dogs for consumption, and we’re making incredible progress. The real goal is to get a ban passed that will end this industry forever so that no more dogs have to suffer.” 

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