Activists from In Defense of Animals (IDA) and Jindo Love Rescue have saved 28 'very scared and tortured' dogs from being slaughtered.
The animal-welfare organizations discovered the dogs 'crammed full' in a truck believed to be heading to the Boknal dog meat festival in South Korea.
Footage released by IDA shows one activist saying: "We must save them. I can't let them be killed." While another asks: "This dog is buried. That's why they can't breathe. What should we do?"
In a statement sent to PEOPLE Magazine, Fleur Dawes, IDA's Communications Director said: "Our Korean rescue partners got a tip-off about a truck piled high with rusty wire metal cages crammed full of helpless dogs packed together and rushed to the scene.
"Some dogs were struggling to breathe; they were packed so tightly that they could not move or even turn their heads.
"We saved 28 dogs that night, but we are heartbroken that two dogs have passed away as a result of their extreme neglect. More of the dogs are struggling and urgently need advanced veterinary care—almost all have heartworm which is very expensive to treat.
Patti Kim of Jindo Love Rescue added: "Rescue is just the first step: all the dogs will need healing, foster care, training, and rehabilitation to make a complete recovery. But after seeing their eyes… how can we not save them?"
IDA predicts it will cost around $1,000 per dog to provide all the animals the basic medical care they need to survive.
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