Team USA’s Gus Kenworthy is leaving the Winter Olympics with a new rescue pet again.
In 2014, the freestyle skier went through the long process of bringing two puppies he found near Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia, back home to America. Those dogs are now healthy, full-grown social media superstars: Sochi pups Jake and Mishka.
The duo will soon be joined by a new canine companion. In a lengthy Instagram post Kenworthy announced he and his boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas, visited one of South Korea’s 17,000 dog meat farms during the Winter Olympics and rescued a puppy named Beemo.
“This morning Matt and I had a heart-wrenching visited to one of the 17,000 dog farms here in South Korea. Across the country there are 2.5 million dogs being raised for food in some of the most disturbing conditions imaginable. Yes, there is an argument to be made that eating dogs is a part of Korean culture,” Kenworthy, 26, wrote in the post. “And, while don’t personally agree with it, I do agree that it’s not my place to impose western ideals on the people here. The way these animals are being treated, however, is completely inhumane and culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty.”
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The fluffy gray-and-white pup Kenworthy adopted is one of 90 dogs that was being kept at the farm under cruel, neglectful conditions. Even though the skier wrote he was told that the dogs at Beemo’s farm were kept in “good conditions” compared to other farms, he still found that animals were malnourished, abused and stuffed in tiny, dirty cages that were left exposed to the harsh elements.
Beemo isn’t the only dog getting a happy ending. According to Kenworthy, the entire farm he visited is being shut down and all 90 of the dogs currently living there are being flown to the U.S. and Canada, with help from Human Society International, where they will be put up for adoption.
Kenworthy’s new fur baby will arrive in America to meet her famous siblings in a few weeks, after she completes all the necessary vaccinations. Like Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel, who rescued one of her pets from a South Korean dog meat farm, Kenworthy hopes his choice inspires others to help the millions of animals still caught in farm across the 2018 Winter Olympics’ host country.
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“I’m hoping to use this visit as an opportunity to raise awareness to the inhumanity of the dog meat trade here in Korea and the plight of dogs everywhere, including back home in the US where millions of dogs are in need of loving homes! Go to @hsiglobal‘s page to see how you can help,” he writes at the end of his moving post.