U.S. Olympian Saves Dog From South Korean Butcher

U.S. Olympic snowboarder Maddie Mastro loves animals. She has three dogs at home and told People Magazine "all the animals I’ve grown up with are rescued." Mastro showed off her love for animals while she was in PyeongChang for the 2018 Winter Olympics by helping to rescue dogs who were set to be slaughtered for food according to TMZ Sports.

Mastro is not only returning home with a bronze medal in SuperPipe, she will be bringing home a dog she rescued from Korean meat farm. As she left PyeongChang, she posted a photo of her new best friend to Instagram

I got me a flight buddy! ✈️ I’m flying home with this doggo so she can get a better chance at having a loving/caring family 💌 I’m happy to have the opportunity to be apart of helping these dogs, even if it’s just one. I also encourage others to get involved to help save these doggos lives. Just look at that face, how can you say no! 😍 

She was not the only athlete to help rescue dogs during the Winter Games. U.S. skier Gus Kenworthy helped to rescue 90 dogs from the slaughter. In a heartfelt Instagram post, Kenworthy said he is not trying to stop Koreans from eating dog meat, but instead wants to help the dogs that are being treated inhumanely. 

This morning Matt and I had a heart-wrenching visit 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. 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. I was told that the dogs on this particular farm were kept in "good conditions" by comparison to other farms. The dogs here are malnourished and physically abused, crammed into tiny wire-floored pens, and exposed to the freezing winter elements and scorching summer conditions. When it comes time to put one down it is done so in front of the other dogs by means of electrocution sometimes taking up to 20 agonizing minutes. Despite the beliefs of some, these dogs are no different from the ones we call pets back home. Some of them were even pets at one time and were stolen or found and sold into the dog meat trade. Luckily, this particular farm (thanks to the hard work of the Humane Society International and the cooperation of a farmer who's seen the error of his ways) is being permanently shut down and all 90 of the dogs here will be brought to the US and Canada where they'll find their fur-ever homes. I adopted the sweet baby in the first pic (we named her Beemo) and she'll be coming to the US to live with me as soon as she's through with her vaccinations in a short couple of weeks. I cannot wait to give her the best life possible! There are still millions of dogs here in need of help though (like the Great Pyrenees in the 2nd pic who was truly the sweetest dog ever). I'm hoping to use this visit as an opportunity to raise awareness to the inhumanity of the dog meat trade 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. #dogsarefriendsnotfood#adoptdontshop ❤️🐶

While many people in South Korea enjoy dog meat, the country had asked restaurants in PyeongChang to stop serving it during the Winter Games. Many restaurants refused to alter their menu, and some that did saw a drastic drop in business. 

Photo: Getty Images