Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy deserves a gold medal in Awesome Humaning (we're calling it — it's a thing now). The Olympian and his boyfriend, Matthew Wilkas, are making headlines and melting hearts after a trip to a dog farm in South Korea.
While in PyeongChang for the games, Kenworthy and Wilkas decided to visit a dog farm and see the conditions that dogs raised for food are kept in. In addition to raising a ton of awareness about an important cause, Kenworthy personally adopted a puppy from the farm, a beautiful little girl named Beemo.
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"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," he wrote on Instagram. "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."
In a gallery post, he also shared several photos illustrating the conditions he described in the rest of his caption.
"I was told that the dogs on this particular farm were kept in 'good conditions' by comparison to other farms," he wrote. "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," he wrote. "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 ❤️🐶"
Kenworthy also adopted a litter of puppies in 2014 at the Sochi Olympics, with his then-boyfriend Robin Macdonald, Us Weekly reports. In fact, the couple stayed in Sochi for more than a month after the Olympics ended to rescue four stray puppies and their mother. Although two of the dogs have sadly passed away (one died before leaving Sochi and another died in New York City shortly after they made it home), Kenworthy and his mom still care for the mother, Mamuchka, and Macdonald is raising the pups, Jake and Mishka, in Vancouver.