TOWIE star Pete Wicks has recently rescued 170 dogs from squalid conditions and certain death during his trip to South Korea. He is campaigning to end the meat trade.
Wicks is an Essex boy and a well-known dog lover. He 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 with an estimated 17,000 dogs. On the farm in South Korea, they breed more than 2.5 million canines a year to be devoured at annual dog meat festivals.
During his trip, he saw dogs who were routinely kept in filthy, unsanitary conditions, while spending their lives in wire cages with no protection from the elements.
When he investigated the farms and festivals that drive the market, Pete saw mastiffs, spaniels, and greyhounds living miserable lives in cages.
The kind-hearted star chose to bring 13 of the pups and 157 dogs home with him, including a beagle, a Korean jindo, and a golden retriever.
The ‘Lucky 13’ as they were dubbed, are due to be adopted in the new year after they have had thorough health checkups. The remaining 157 will go to the US and Canada, 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.’
His own beloved dog Eric spending even one day in the squalid conditions would break his heart. A spokesperson for Humane Society International sang Pete’s praise: ‘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.’
Pete urged politicians to take action and help Humane Society International end the cruel trade forever. In August 2016, Pete bid farewell to 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 has 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).’
He wrote: ‘Words can’t describe how heartbroken I am to have suddenly lost one of the best things that has ever come into my life.’
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