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Featured Image Credit: Pete Wicks/Instagram
Say what you want about The Only Way Is Essex but it appears that not everyone on the semi-scripted show is a complete melt. Pete Wicks has shown his humanitarian streak following a trip to South Korea to help shut down a dog meat farm.
The 29-year-old travelled with Humane Society International to rescue nearly 150 puppies from a farm in Namyangju.
The TOWIE star has told the Sun: "Seeing for myself the horror of a dog meat farm has been one of the most emotional experiences of my life.
"I love my dog Eric with all my heart, and I kept thinking how dreadful it would be for him to spend even one day in a place like that.
"Some of the dogs I met were terrified, and you can't blame them because they've seen the cruel side of humanity, but I couldn't believe how friendly most of them were despite everything they've been through."
Update: Thanks to YOU, our supporters, over 170 dogs are heading for warm beds and loving families after a life of unimaginable suffering on a South Korean dog farm :heart::dog::airplane_departure::house_with_garden: big thanks to @P_Wicks01 for all your help and support! pic.twitter.com/t9THJrEqdU
- HSI United Kingdom (@HSIUKorg) December 1, 2017
Human Society International says around one million dogs are killed annually for South Korea's Bok Nal summer season and their meat is used for a spicy soup. The organisation has closed down nine of these farms since 2014.
In a statement, Nara Kim, HSI's South Korea dog meat campaigner, said: "With every dog meat farm we close, we are not only saving the lives of these poor, terrified dogs caught up in this cruel trade, but we are also presenting a successful blueprint for change that we hope the government will follow.
"Eating dog is a dying practice in Korea, especially among young people.
"However, the Bok Nal days of summer still lead many to eat dog meat soup in the mistaken belief that it will invigorate the blood in the sluggish heat.
"Our campaign shows them the disgusting conditions in which the dogs are forced in live in their own faeces, and their pitiful suffering, and it is changing hearts and minds."
Pete was praised on his Instagram page where he uploaded two snaps of him holding different puppies.
One person said: "Keep this going Pete the more celebs that can help the better to stop this. These poor dogs can't imagine what they have seen keep up the good work."
Korea has a long history of consuming dog meat, a practice that goes back to 57 AD. It's enshrined in North Korea's Intangible Heritages and is considered integral to their cultural identity.