Canadian Figure Skater Rescues Puppies From South Korean Dog Meat Trade

Gold Medalist Meagan Duhamel is a champion for dogs.

By Catalina Barrios

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Credit: free Korean dogs

Most elite athletes dream of participating in the Olympics. Imagine the thrill of competing with your peers from all over the world, in a new country, knowing you may bring home a precious gold, silver, or bronze medal. The host for Winter Olympics 2018 is Pyeongchang, South Korea. For one Canadian athlete, this East Asian country is connected to a most precious gift.


Credit: free Korean dogs

Last year, Canadian figure skater, Meagan Duhamel traveled to South Korea with her husband, figure skating coach, Bruno Marcotte. They came home with Moo-tae, an adorable miniature dachshund mix with big ears and bowed legs. The dog was rescued from South Korea’s horrific dog meat trade. Now, 2-year old Moo-tae lives with the couple in Montreal, Canada, enjoying park runs with his doggie friends.


Credit: free Korean dogs

According to Humane Society International, an estimated 2 million dogs are killed for food every year in South Korea. These dogs live in the worst possible conditions, with inadequate food and water, and are beaten and locked inside cages from birth.  They don’t deserve to live this way. Thankfully there are organizations such as Free Korean Dogs, who work tirelessly to battle the dog meat trade. This is the company that matched Meagan with Moo-tae.

Dog meat is mainly consumed by Korea’s elderly population who believe it has health benefits. It is said that dog meat has more nutrients than chicken, pork, or beef as well as a medicinal benefit for the stomach and intestines.


Credit: free Korean dogs

EK Park, Free Korean Dogs’ Founder, drove for eight hours to meet with Meagan in Pyeonchang. She was there with her competition partner, pairs skater Eric Radford, testing the Four Continents Olympic rink. As soon as Moo-tae met Meagan, he curled up in her arms.

When Meagan competed last year in South Korea, the Canadian skater committed to helping battle the dog meat trade.  She and her husband contacted RK about adopting and the rest is happy history for little Moo-tae.

There’s a lot of dogs looking to come over to North America so that they’re not, they feel like if they’re left in Korea, they’ll be sold back to the dog meat trade,” said Meagan. While competing in the Winter Olympics, the Canadian skater is raising awareness about the plight of dogs in Korea.


Credit: free Korean dogs

Meagan and EK hope other athletes will be flight volunteers to bring rescued dogs from the Olympics back to North America.  Air Canada claims the airplane does not have enough space for that many dogs.  Even though Free Korean Dogs takes care of everything related to adoptions, including paperwork, vaccinations and crates for transportation, it still costs thousands of dollars for each dog to travel without a flight volunteer.

We have to really rely on flight volunteers flying from Korea to Canada,” said EK. “That’s like 90 per cent of what we do.

This is a video of Moo-tae while living in Korea.

Find out how you can help by contacting  Free Korean Dogs.


Credit: free Korean dogs

Moo-tae has adjusted well to his Canadian life. Meagan and her husband also rescued a 4-year old beagle named Theo and a cat named  Zara. Their small Montreal condo is filled to the brim with love.


Credit: free Korean dogs

Enjoy this beautiful moment when Moo-tae meets his adorable parents.

Good luck to Meagan in the pairs competition! We will be cheering for this strong skater with the soft heart.