These Space Age high-fashion disco dogs look as though they’ve only ever known silver-plated serving bowls, but their backstory reveals unimaginable sorrows. They are all survivors of the dog-meat trade. Yes, even the little ones.


For her latest project, award-winning photographer Sophie Gamand trained her lens on survivors of the dog-meat trade to help put this barbaric practice firmly in the past.

Chewy before

Chewy after

All the dogs in her new photo series were rescued by Humane Society International from the South Korean dog-meat trade, where they were being raised on dog-meat farms for human consumption. Since their rescue, they have all been adopted by loving families.


“I loved partnering with HSI for this project because they work hand in hand with local South Korean organizations and identify willing farmers who want to get out of the trade,” says Gamand. The farms are destroyed, the farmers are assisted as they transition to animal-free businesses, and the dogs are rescued/adopted.”


The overwhelming majority of South Koreans are against the dog meat trade: Surveys in recent years show that more than 80 percent of South Koreans have never tasted dog meat and have no intention of doing so, reports La Prensa. In June, South Korean First Lady Kim Keon-hee called for an end to dog-meat consumption, as well as for stricter animal protection laws. 


The series is designed to assist in changing public perceptions by showing the soulfulness of these dogs, influencing policymakers, and building national and international momentum in support of HSI’s campaign to end the dog meat trade, says Gamand.



So far, the reaction to the project has been overwhelmingly positive. “I think it’s great for people to see life beyond the dog-meat trade stories. Everyone is used to seeing those dogs as victims, crammed in cages and suffering horrifying fates. I wanted to show these dogs more in charge of their destiny, dignified, happy. I think people appreciate their past, and that they now have a bright future.”


This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Dog magazine. Subscribe today!