Photographer Highlights Heartwarming Transformations Of Dog Meat Trade Survivors

The dog meat trade is a depressing, heartbreaking topic. But there are many success stories of dogs who survived and went on to live amazing lives. Photographer Sophie Gamand wanted to highlight the happy endings many of these dogs have. They go from being sick, skittish, and filthy to the most loved companions.

For her series, Gamand created custom collars for each survivor to show the beautiful and strong sides of these canines. The dog meat trade can be difficult to discuss, but hopefully, her uplifting portraits will encourage more people to support these dogs in need.

Rescue dog wearing bow tie

Survivors Live Their Best Lives

Gamand is famous for her Pit Bull Flower Project, which helps showcase the misunderstood breed as the loving, beautiful dogs they truly are. She’s taking a similar approach with the dog meat trade survivors. Most people are only familiar with the sad photos of dogs in cages and not the incredible transformations they make after.

In each photo, Gamand captures a moment where the dogs look their happiest. But the most important part of the photos is the unique collars. They add an element of beauty to the images while also being symbolic.

Dog meat trade survivor

“I like to think about the collar like a wedding band. It’s a commitment,” Gamand said. “The collar is a promise that you’re taking this dog in. ‘I’m going to give you shelter, food, love, comfort. I’m going to be committed to making your life better.’”

Some of the dog meat survivors in the images belong to celebrities, including Olympic medalist Gus Kenworthy and actor Daniel Henney. Both of them witnessed the dog meat farms firsthand, and they’re devastated that more dogs are still trapped in those horrific facilities.

RELATED: Olympian Rescues Another Dog From A Korean Meat Farm After Pup’s Tragic Death

Chihuahua with special collar

Ending the Dog Meat Trade Once and For All

Gamand wanted to see the dog meat farms for herself before working on this project. She said it was heartbreaking to see all the dogs barking, trying to get someone’s attention. It made her mission even more meaningful to her.

“It was very important to me to actually visit a dog meat farm. I didn’t want to just be on the other side once the dogs were rescued. I really wanted to see where they came from,” Gamand said. “It’s very hard to talk about something like this unless you’ve been there.”

Pomeranian with special collar

South Korea is currently the only country in the world that intensively breeds dogs for meat. About 1 million dogs are in those meat farms, but most South Koreans don’t eat dog meat, and many of the farm owners are eager to get out of the business. The Humane Society International has been working with the farmers to transition them to humane types of farming instead.

Yet, there are still many people allowing these innocent dogs to suffer. The rescued dogs who have homes waiting for them in other countries are very fortunate, and a loving family can change everything for them. So, that’s why Gamand felt it was so crucial to show the joy of the dogs who had been saved.

Dog wears giant bow

The more dogs that are rescued from the dog meat trade, the more happy dogs there will be. These dogs might be scared and shut down at first, but adopting one is worth it if you have lots of love to give.

Featured Image: Instagram