Puppy love! Gus Kenworthy adopted a puppy from a dog farm in PyeongChang, South Korea, while he’s there for the 2018 Winter Olympics! The freestyle skier, 26, shared a photo of himself with his boyfriend, Matthew Wilkas, on Instagram on Friday, February 23, to reveal that he had fallen for a puppy named Beemo and will be taking her home after the games.
“This morning Matt and I had a heart-wrenching visited 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,” Kenworthy captioned the photos, which showed dogs chained up outside in snow while others were in tiny makeshift cages. “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.”
He added: “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!”
The Head & Shoulders ambassador also shared his observations from their visit, claiming that the animals were malnourished, physically abused, crammed into tiny wire-floored pens, exposed to extreme weather conditions and were cruelly executed by electrocution in front of the other dogs. The dog farm the couple visited is being permanently shut down and the athlete revealed that the 90 dogs found there will be brought to the U.S. and Canada and placed in loving homes.
The Olympian also said he will continue to use his platform to raise awareness about the dog meat trade in Korea. Earlier this week, Kenworthy revealed to Us Weekly that he was planning on adopting a puppy while in South Korea. “I’m visiting a dog farm with the Humane Society International on the 23rd,” he told Us exclusively on Wednesday, February 21. “It’s pretty likely I’ll bring one back with me.”
As previously reported, Kenworthy returned home from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, with a litter of puppies. The skier and his then-boyfriend, Robin Macdonald, stayed in Sochi for more than a month after the Olympics ended so that the athlete could rescue four stray puppies and their mother. One dog died before the couple left, and another died shortly after arriving in New York City. Kenworthy and his mother continue to care for the mother, Mamuchka, while her pups Jake and Mishka live with Macdonald in Vancouver.