Some of the nearly 200 dogs rescued from a meat factory in South Korea are being rehomed in Canada – thanks in part to Simon Cowell.

Many of the dogs, including puppies and older dogs used for breeding, have spent their lives in metal cages, many with painful injuries, malnutrition and skin diseases.

They are now on their way to emergency shelters around the world thanks to the work of Humane Society International and a $42,000 donation from Cowell, a former judge on America’s Got Talent and American Idol, who heard about the HSI project from the organization's U.K. branch.

It is the 13th canine meat factory to be shut by the society in the last three years.

More than 70 of the animals saved from slaughter arrived in Montreal on Friday.

Ewa Demianowicz, campaign manager for HSI Canada, said: "This canine farm is overwhelming.

“Dogs spent their days in dirty metal cages, unable to meet their most basic needs.

“They will have a wonderful new life in their new homes and will never suffer deprivation or cruelty again and that is fantastic. "

The newly arrived dogs were temporarily sheltered at a Cambridge, Ont., trucking company after being flown from South Korea, before being taken to the Montreal shelter for rehabilitation, socialization and eventual adoption.

Many of the dogs were severely emaciated with eye and skin infections and other injuries.

The new Canadian dogs will receive veterinary care and will soon be up for adoption.

Some of the animals are traumatized and volunteers have to gently guide the dogs into their new cages.

They'll get multiple walks and time to roam, spending up to two months at the shelter being rehabilitated and getting veterinary care that started in South Korea.

Nara Kim, HSI's dog meat activist in South Korea, believes there is momentum across Asia to ban the canine trade. She said she believes HSI's approach – which involves offering farmers money to help them move into another line of farming – is the right way to reduce the number of dog meat operations.

According to HIS, more than 2.5 million dogs are raised each year in thousands of dog meat farms in South Korea, the only country known for raising dogs for human consumption.

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of the HSI Canada, told CTVNews Montreal: “These dogs have come from the worst place imaginable.

“These dogs are getting a second chance, which they really deserve.”