It wasn’t your usual roadside litter– this black plastic garbage bag was moving. Inside, a golden retriever who was on her way to a South Korean dog meat market struggled to stay alive. Each of her four legs were bound with wire and mangled as a result of being tied and hung upside down. Rescued by ARME (Animal, Rescue, Media, and Education), emergency treatment saved her life but not her legs, so badly infected they had to be amputated. Though she woke up without her legs, a video shows how she still wiggled with happiness and to get closer to people who were the first to show her love.

Chi Chi

Now fitted with prosthetic legs and a new name, Chi Chi chases balls, follows people, and plays just like any other happy puppy, despite her horrific start at life. And soon, the best news came: Chi Chi found a permanent home with a family in Phoenix, Arizona. In an interview her new owner said, “When we first saw a picture of Chi Chi and learned about her story, my wife and I discussed whether we wanted to be part of that story. Eventually we decided to go for it.”

According to The Animal Welfare Institute, around 2 million dogs are slaughtered for meat each year in South Korea.  Though attitudes are shifting, change is happening slowly. Many more young people are refusing to eat dogs in the region. Still, it remains a $2-billion-a-year industry, and brutality remains the norm. Dogs are stolen from their families, abducted from the streets, caged, and tortured before death.

But with each uplifting story like Chi Chi’s, awareness grows and more and more people find a place in their hearts for these special animals.

Chi Chi