1> Which cities are residents eligible to apply for adoption?
Applicants from cities not listed may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Canada: Greater Toronto Area & surrounding cities/towns. Greater Vancouver Area & surrounding cities/towns.
US: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles.
2> I do not reside in one of the listed cities but am willing to travel to pick up the dog. Can I still adopt?
No. We can only consider applicants who are residents of the listed cities. Please see question #5 for more information.
3> The profile says <name of dog> will be flying to <destination> but I am in another province/country. Is it possible to change their destination?
No, if the dog’s profile lists a specific destination, it cannot be changed. There are many factors that determine the destination of our dogs, and they are sometimes beyond our control (flight availability, cost, coordinating flights with dogs from the same shelter, time sensitivity, etc). If circumstances change, they will be updated on the profile. Otherwise, they will only be available for adoption in the listed city.
4> I live in an eligible city (ie: Vancouver) but the dog is flying to another city (ie: Toronto, Seattle). Can I still adopt if I am willing to make my own arrangements to bring them home?
No. Dogs are only eligible for adoption to residents in eligible cities of the province/state they are arriving in. Travel, especially air travel, can be very stressful for dogs and it is in their best interest to minimize any additional/unnecessary stressors.
5> Why don’t you accept applications from other cities/countries?
We are a strong and close knit network of adopters and volunteers. Free Korean Dogs / Free Korean Dogs US is a volunteer run organization and relies on the power of volunteers to assist with home visits, transportation, and/or post adoption support if needed. We also need to be within our network for unfortunate situations such as surrender cases, at which point the dog must be transported back into our care.
6> Do you send Korean dogs to Europe or other countries ?
No, we only send our dogs to the cities listed above. We need to be within reach so should anytime in their life they need assistance, we will be there for them.
7> Will you accept photos, videos, or a video conference call in lieu of a personal home visit?
No. Our adoption process requires the home visit to be conducted in person. There are no exceptions to this rule. Our home visit process is not only intended to meet applicants in person, but to ensure the home is a safe environment, discuss the adjustment period expectations, safety precautions inside and outside the home, make suggestions, and share experiences.
**Please note: during the current Covid-19 pandemic we have temporarily switched to utilizing video conferencing in lieu of in person home visits in order to ensure physical distancing for the safety of all
8> How much is the adoption fee?
- Under 8 yrs old: $760 USD / $960 CAD. * For the US adopters, there is the additional fee, $230USD, for the US customs clearance.
- 8 yrs old and older or special needs: $360 USD / $460 CAD
- Bonded pair: $1,350 USD / $1,630 CAD
- Surrender fee: $220 USD/ $280 CAD
9> What does the adoption fee cover?
The average cost to rescue a single dog can range from $2,000 to $5,000. The adoption fee helps offset the costs of medical expenses (vaccinations, completed de-worming and heartworm tests, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, spay/neuter, microchip implantation, and any medical attention needed to ensure the dog is suitable for adoption), ground transportation in South Korea from the shelter to airport, travel crate, quarantine inspection and certified health certificate, flight associated costs (including boarding fees if applicable), as well as import taxes and border service fees.
10> Can I get a tax receipt for my adoption fee?
Canada: While Free Korean Dogs is a registered charity, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) does not consider the adoption fee to be a tax deductible expense due to the nature of the transaction (payment in exchange for “goods”). We cannot issue tax receipts for the adoption fee. Tax receipts can be issued for all other direct donations over $20.
US: Free Korean Dog US is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the US. According to IRS, donors can only claim the contribution amount that exceeds the fair market value of the good and services provided. The fair market value of the good, in this case, the rescue dog, is the adoption fee. For further details, see IRS guidance, “Can I deduct my charitable contributions?”
11> Why is your organization named “Free” Korean Dogs if you charge an adoption fee?
Our organization name refers to “freeing” or liberating dogs from pain and suffering. It is not a monetary reference.
12> Why don’t you permit adoptions to homes with children under 13 years of age?
Many of our rescue dogs come to us with no history, and we suspect little or no exposure to children. Rescue dogs often require a lot of accommodation, quiet, and routine during the adjustment period in their new environment, which can be challenging with young children in the home. The safety of all involved is our primary concern.
13> Why are applicants required to be 25 years of age or older?
We recognise the personal and financial commitments associated with dog ownership, especially for rescue dogs who sometimes require additional care and support. The most common reasons for surrendering a dog are often associated with the inability to provide continued care due to changes in financial, time, or living situations. We’ve found age 25 to be a good indicator of the stability we are looking for.
14> Has [name of dog] been adopted yet?
If the dog is listed as “available” on its profile on our website, it means their adoption has not yet been finalized and you are still welcome to apply. While some dogs may be undergoing the process with another candidate, circumstances can change. If the dog is adopted by another candidate, and you have indicated on your application you are open to other dogs, we will contact you if we think there may be another suitable match.
15>Where are the dogs currently? Can we meet them?
The dog’s location will be listed on their profile. We work with a “direct adoption” approach, which means most of the dogs stay in the shelter in Korea and fly to Canada/US after a forever home is found. Upon approval, we will start to coordinate the necessary travel plans through flight volunteers or airline cargo services. Dogs currently in foster homes will have the information listed in the dog’s profile. You will be welcome to meet them and their foster parent(s) pending a satisfactory adoption application interview.
16> I have a cat. Do you have any dogs who are “cat friendly”?
The vast majority of our dogs live in boarding houses or shelters and do not have experience with cats. At most, we can only share our observations based on observed prey drive.
Other dogs who have lived with foster families may have exposure to cats, but we recognise every relationship between each individual dog and cat is different and an integration period and proper introductions are to be expected.
Does this mean I cannot adopt a dog if I have a cat?
No, this does not mean you will be ineligible to adopt. However, we do require our adopters to have sufficient space in the home to provide each pet with their own space if needed, and expect them to be prepared to integrate the dog and cat safely. Ensuring the safety and comfort of all animals in the household is our goal.
If you are considering adopting a dog, take the time to learn about how your cat will react to a dog with slow and short sessions with a friend or family’s dog. Some cats are territorial, and bringing a dog into the home can be very stressful and fearful. Both perspectives should be considered.
17> Can I “foster-to-adopt”?
Unfortunately, we do not offer foster-to-adopt options. It is in our experience and belief that allowing the dogs to settle directly into their forever home provides the most stress free transition. Having dogs moved between foster homes often creates more anxiety for the dogs in having to adjust with multiple, sudden changes in people and environment.
We appreciate the reservations some may have in proceeding with a direct adoption and understand it is not for everyone. If you feel the opportunity to meet the dog is a priority for you, we would recommend connecting with a rescue who offers a foster to adopt program, or at least the opportunity for a meet and greet.
18> How do I know the dog is right for me if I cannot meet them until they arrive at home with me?
Ensuring a successful adoption is one of our utmost priorities, and that starts with having a good fit. During our adoption process, our adoption case managers will discuss and assess your expectations, characteristics you are looking for in your new companion, lifestyle, and experience level, amongst other factors, to ensure compatibility.
We work closely and communicate frequently with our partner shelters for a clear understanding of the dogs’ behaviors, temperaments, likes and dislikes, etc at the boarding house. However, we also recognize that behaviors can be different in varying environments and circumstances. We strive to provide as much post adoption support and education as possible, and ask our adopters for their patience and commitment in helping their dogs through this adjustment period should any challenges arise. We have successfully facilitated adoptions for over 1,000 dogs to date with a very low surrender rate using this direct adoption paradigm.
19> What happens if it doesn’t end up being a good fit, and I decide to return the dog?
Although we do our best to ensure the most suitable match, we cannot claim to have a perfect system, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out despite everyone’s best efforts. As per your adoption agreement, the dog must be brought back into the care of Free Korean Dogs / Free Korean Dogs US. A signed formal surrender agreement is required and a $220 USD/$280CAD surrender fee will apply.
After all documents have been completed we will begin the process of securing a foster placement, in which we will ask you to keep the dog in your care until one can be secured. Depending on the availability of our fosters, this can take up to 2 weeks, although we will do our best to move as quickly as possible.
**Please note as per your adoption application and agreement, the dog must be brought back into the care of Free Korean Dogs / Free Korean Dogs US should you decide to surrender and must not be rehomed to friends, family members, or other rescues/shelters.
20> I submitted an application to adopt a dog. How soon should I expect to hear back?
It depends, but as a general rule it can take anywhere from 2 days to a week. Completion of the entire adoption process (references, home visit) can be anywhere from 1-2 weeks. We are a small, volunteer based team and receive a high volume of applications and inquiries on a daily basis. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.
21> What is your adoption process?
Our adoption process consists of a phone interview, personal and applicable vet references, and in person home visit. For more information, please visit our “Adoption Process” page.
22> Why should I adopt a rescue dog from Korea?
We believe compassion has no borders, and every life is worth saving regardless of where they are in the world. Approximately 2 million dogs are slaughtered for meat each year in Korea alone. While some dogs live luxurious lifestyles as companion animals, others are tortured beyond imagination.
Shelter dogs have a very low success rate with local adoption due to the stigma associated with being so called “broken”, and “damaged” and are often at risk of euthanasia or being sold back into the dog meat trade. Recent shifts and growth in international adoption programs have inspired local dog rescuers in Korea more than ever, in a field where their tireless work seemed futile and dismal. Such encouragements have subsequently sparked a movement towards more local rescue initiatives. You may think you are adopting just one dog, but the impact of your action will be huge.
23 > Where does the dog come from?
Our rescues are mostly from dog meat farms in Korea. We also work with 3 different dog rescue groups & shelters in Korea. The rescued dogs from our partners come for a variety of backgrounds, including but not limited to the dog meat trade, euthanasia, or being strayed. Successful adoption for dogs with such a history is very low within Korea. We specialize in finding suitable forever homes for these dogs in Canada and the US.
24> How do you determine which dogs are ready for adoption?
We work with our partnered rescue groups & shelters in the selection of dogs that are healthy and friendly. If necessary, we send our rescues to foster homes and/or training schools in Korea. The dogs are assessed over an extended period while living in the shelter to allow them time to “decompress” and ensure the best picture of their health and temperament with people and other dogs.
25> Some of the dogs’ profiles describe them as being in the shelter for a long time. Is there something wrong with them? Why have they not been adopted?
There is nothing wrong with these dogs, apart from the fact Korean views on dog ownership and preferences differ greatly from ours here. There are plenty of great dogs who are overlooked because they are considered too big, are an undesirable breed, or are unwanted/looked down upon because they come from a shelter. It is not uncommon for dogs in Korea to spend their entire lives in the shelter with no interest in adoption. That’s where we come in; we facilitate the adoptions of these dogs to countries overseas where there is a demand for loving homes.
26>Are the dogs vaccinated and spayed/neutered?
All dogs are spayed/neutered and microchipped prior to adoption. Standard quarantine and vaccination processes at our partner animal hospitals in Korea are also completed before arrival. Upon picking up the dog, adopters are provided a health certificate that lists the completed vaccinations for Rabies, DHPPL, Canine Influenza, Corona, and Kennel Cough. Our dogs are on monthly flea/tick/mosquito/parasite preventions. Each dog also must have proof of completing Heartworm tests (4DX & Microfilaria test).
27> My dog is not spayed/neutered. Why does this matter if the dog I am adopting is already neutered?
Rescues like us exist because there are simply too many dogs without enough homes to care for them. We believe in the responsibility of controlling the overpopulation issue and would like for our adopters to believe in the same.
28> Are the dogs trained?
Unless specifically stated in their profile, adopters should expect and prepare for an adjustment period which typically includes potty training, basic commands/obedience, and leash manners.
29> I am a little bit nervous about adopting a Korean rescue dog. Is there anything I should know?
No, it is similar to adopting a rescue dog in general. Each dog has its own unique history, experience, and personality. As with any dog, they will need some time to adjust to their new home with you. We ask that you provide our rescue dogs with love and patience – we know that they will return the favor many times over. Free Korean Dogs / Free Korean Dogs US has a strong network of adopters, and we strive to provide support whether 2 days or 2 years after adoption. We have the great online community, FKD Adopters Network, as well as multiple resources we provide to make this new chapter of your life as seamless as possible for both you and your dog.