Another year, another trip around the sun. For Free Korean Dogs, that makes 7. If you told us 7 years ago we would have grown to become the small but mighty organization we are today, we would have laughed and gone on our way. But looking back, we are truly proud of how much we have grown as an organization, as a team, and as individuals.
We have a lot to be proud of, and even more to be thankful for. In some ways, 2022 has been our biggest year yet. We shut down our largest dog meat farm to date, bringing 101 dogs to safety. We also exceeded our fundraising goals during our annual Freedom Walk in Toronto and Vancouver. Our growth has been humbling for us, as this represents a growing number of people who are shifting their beliefs to embrace rescue animals, and increasingly pursue “adopt, don’t shop” practices. In theory, we could save a million dogs, but without people opening up their hearts and homes to adopt them, we would still have a million homeless dogs. Arguably, the most satisfying rewards of our work have been witnessing the changing landscape and knowing we have played a small part in this change.
Our journey this year, however, wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There were certainly times when we buried our heads in our hands and doubted ourselves, questioning whether or not we made the right decisions. Sometimes, no matter how much planning and preparation, we never truly know how to navigate a project until we are completely emerged in it. We had moments when we felt completely overwhelmed and stretched thin – physically, emotionally, and financially. But then, we circle back to the rewards of seeing once helpless dogs thrive, finding trust and courage, and embracing a second chance at life, and we remember what it’s all about and what it’s all for.
We are indebted in gratitude to everyone in our community – be it fosters, adopters, volunteers, sponsors, and supporters – for their support. Seeing the collective world of dog rescue move forward in helping change the fate of so many dogs, and being able to witness the results firsthand is the reason we work so hard at what we do.
In the last 7 years, we’ve accomplished goals we never thought possible. We also fell short of others. But not being able to meet goals does not necessarily equal failure. Rather, success is measured in different ways, and we are proud of how far we have come together. As we continue to navigate this crazy world of dog rescue, we can’t say for certain what the next year will bring. However, one thing we know for certain is that while we have come a long way, we still have a ways to go. It takes a village, and we look forward to expanding our community to hopefully make an even greater difference in 2023.