A veterinary clinic in Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province, was caught passing off abandoned dogs to dog meat farms.
According to officials in the local city and nonprofit organisation Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth, the clinic was reported Monday by a passerby while handing off five stray dogs to a dog meat farm.
It is unclear whether there had been monetary transaction in the process.
When city officials arrived at the scene, the five dogs had just been tied up and transferred to a cage in a freight truck.
An investigation into the case revealed the clinic had habitually given off dogs under its protection to a dog meat farm, rather than euthanizing them according to the code of conduct.
Regulations in Korea advise designated shelters to wait 10 days for dog owners to claim a lost dog. If no one comes, ownership of the deserted animal falls to the authorities, upon which the animals can be put up for adoption or euthanasia.
The head veterinarian at the clinic in Gwangyang reportedly asked the protesting passersby, "What do you care about the dogs I will kill anyways?"
The vet later claimed he believed he was helping the dogs find new families and did not know he was dealing with a dog meat farm.
Regardless, the city withdrew the clinic's status as a temporary shelter for abandoned animals. The clinic had held the position since 2006 and received funding from the city government.
The clinic had 17 dogs and two cats in its custody, all of which were transferred to different institutions.