Each year in Korea, millions of dogs are slaughtered to make dog meat soup. Many dogs are brutally tortured before they are slaughtered. This is due to the belief among some Koreans that the more the dog suffers, the more tasty the meat. Most dogs are warehoused in tiny cages at dog meat farms, with only human food waste to eat, no water and no shelter from the elements.
Korea is the only country in the world that commercially farms dogs for food. There is no legislation regulating the Korean dog meat trade, so there are no standards for safety or humane treatment. The dog meat trade in Korea is a legislative gray area and political landmine that nobody in power wants to address.
Our goal is to end the Korean dog meat trade. Our international rescue and adoption program saves hundreds of dogs each year from the Korean dog meat trade. We also promote public awareness to create a cultural shift from cruelty to compassion for dogs in Korea. We are an international community of volunteers and animal welfare activists. We are the voice of the voiceless dogs of Korea.
Free Korean dogs was founded on July 1st in 2015. We are a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization (Corporation #942567-5). Our head office is located in Toronto, Canada.
We achieve our mission through a simple three-part strategy that drives our day-to-day operations:
We negotiate with dog meat farmers to close their operation and assist with the transition to a more humane livelihood. Then we remove the remaining dogs from the dog meat farm and board them in our rescue shelter. Finally, we return to the dog meat farm and destroy the cages to ensure that no more dogs will ever suffer the same fate as those who came before.
Dogs boarded at our shelter are made available for domestic and international adoption. Many Koreans prefer smaller breeds as companion animals, larger breeds such as Dosa and Jindo are considered “meat dogs” not suitable as pets. Those dogs not adopted within Korea are sent to Canada and the United States, where they are adopted into their forever homes.
With the volume of dogs slaughtered each year in Korea, rescue and adoption alone are not the answer. For real change to take place in Korea, public awareness and social change are critical. The dogs we rescue become ambassadors for those left behind. We also publish documentary films, blog articles and a barrage of social media content to build public awareness, foster discussion and stimulate change.
Founder and Executive Director
EK Park is the founder of Free Korean Dogs. Born in South Korea and based in Toronto, Canada, EK is a photographer, videographer, and animal lover.
Although she grew up on a farm in the Korean countryside, it wasn’t until she returned many years later that she truly realized the cruelty that Korean dogs endure as a result of the dog meat industry. That’s when she realized that she must use all available means to give Korean dogs the love they deserve. Read EK’s story »
Adoption Coordinator, New York
Gina started as a local NYC animal rescuer volunteering for a large private Brooklyn shelter in the summer of 2011. Since that time until present, she has pulled and personally transported and coordinated thousands of dogs from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina high kill pounds, as well as locally in NYC for the Brooklyn animal rescue where all have gone on to be adopted into loving homes.
Being born in South Korea, Gina came to the USA at a young age. She discovered the plight of Korean dogs several years ago and now advocated for the end of their suffering through activism, adoption and awareness throughout the New York City area.
Adoption Coordinator, Seattle/Portland
Erin is a full time photographer in Vancouver, Washington. She is new to Free Korean Dogs and really excited about finding wonderful homes for Korean dogs on the West Coast: currently focusing on the Seattle, Washington, Portland, and Oregon areas. An animal lover from her earliest memories, Erin discovered FKD while looking for a rescue dog to add to her family and was moved to help in any way possible. She believes that if more West-Coasters know about the inhumane treatment of Korean dogs and the meat trade, that Portland can become a hub for sheltering and advancing the awareness of the meat trade, and a stronghold of support for the movement as a whole.
Adoption Coordinator, Vancouver
Jacqueline has spent the past 28 years crossing the globe as Air Crew. Her greatest passion in life is being of service….whether in India, locally or whilst traveling abroad. In the early nineties, while working with the Missionaries of Charity, she had the great honor of forging a relationship with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It was there she learned that being of service is the most fulfilling and fruitful thing in life.
Five years ago, Jacqueline learned about the dog meat trade in Asia. Though heartbroken, she knew that she had to be involved. That somehow she could be of service. After experiencing the joy of adopting a dog through Free Korean Dogs, Jacqueline knew she wanted to help facilitate the adoption of dogs in Vancouver as well as bring awareness to the public regarding the dog meat trade in Korea. Together we will make a difference.
Tina graduated from a state university with a degree in English and currently has a marketing role in an IT company. She is a new member in the dog rescue world – in fact, she adopted her first dog from Free Korean Dogs in December, 2016. After learning about the dog meat trade in Korea, she decided that she would like to spread awareness by managing content for the Free Korean Dogs organization.
Brittany graduated from the State University of New York College at Buffalo in 2012 with her degree in Public Communication. After moving to Fort Worth, TX in 2014 she quickly noticed the alarming amount of homeless and discarded animals in the Lone Star State. She began volunteering for her local animal shelter taking photos of dogs scheduled for euthanasia in hopes of finding them homes.
With a dream to do even more she began fostering, transporting and fundraising for a large dog rescue. Since beginning her volunteer efforts Brittany has saved countless animals and worked with her community to raise thousands in funds and donations for the Fort Worth Animal Shelter and local non-profits.
Board of Directors
David as spent his life in service. For two decades he was a part of the 1st worker owned co-op in Canada, a design collective, that created print materials for the Walk-the-Walk campaign for Aids in Toronto, The Womens’ Directorate, and many other non-profits and charities.
For fifteen years, David has done front line cat rescue. He spearhead the growth of Toronto Street Cats shelter build program by creating all the promotional & educational print material for Toronto Street Cats. David met EK Park at the shelter build and wholeheartedly supports raising awareness about the slaughter of dogs in Korea by making a documentary.
Board of Directors
Greg is the president of Pasada Media, a Toronto-based web and media production firm. His interest in meditation and yoga began in 1992, while working and studying at the University of Toronto. Soon after he took precepts in the Zen Buddhist tradition.
In his core, Greg believes that most of the world’s great challenges, including those related to animal welfare, would be easily solved if we all spent a little time cultivating mindfulness and compassion in everyday life.
Want to help us stop the suffering of dogs in Korea and end the Korean dog meat industry? Here’s how you can get involved right now:
- Adopt a dog rescued from the Korean dog meat trade.
- Donate today to support our adoption, awareness and community building efforts.
- Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to track our progress.
- Contact us with any questions or to learn more.
Help us end the needless torture and suffering of dogs in Korea. Together we will end the Korean dog meat trade.