9th Anniversary

Free Korean Dogs Turns 9 Years Old: A Monumental Year

Another year, another reason to celebrate

As we celebrate our 9th anniversary this year, we also celebrated South Korea’s move to legally end the dog meat trade earlier this year. This not only marks a historical and unprecedented step in the right direction, but it is also a monumental development that Free Korean Dogs has advocated for since our inception and the very catalyst that sparked the founding of our organization.

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Although there is still much to unfold, many advocates, including ourselves, have a number of concerns that have yet to be addressed by the administration. A lack of clarity, critical details, and direction moving forward brings forth apprehension amidst the triumph. Nonetheless, we have considered it a victory and look forward to a future of compassion. It will be a long and winding road ahead as the nation works to gradually phase out and, eventually, eradicate a centuries-old practice deeply rooted in its culture. The end is in sight, but the fight is not over, and the coming years will open the floodgates to hundreds of thousands of dogs in need of rescue and rehabilitation.

Our Commitment Remains

Free Korean Dogs remains committed to the well-being of animals during this unprecedented transitional period and will continue to work to protect the welfare of the hundreds of thousands of dogs whose lives are currently in limbo until the ban officially comes into effect. Despite this milestone, there is still much work to be done in the rescue world, from the dog meat trade to puppy mills, and backyard breeders. Our latest annual trip to Korea was a painful reminder of this reality as we worked with
partners to shut down yet another illegal dog meat farm and puppy mill, respectively. Such an undertaking always stirs up a myriad of emotions, from the joy of seeing their newfound freedom to the pride in witnessing their progress, to the sorrow of seeing some dogs still fearful despite years of care, to the disheartenment of knowing the sheer number of dogs still in need of help beyond our reach.

There will always be dogs we are unable to help, which is one of the most painful realities of rescue. Yet, we understand that while our work has been significant in changing the fate of those who we were able to save, the true end stems from ending the demand that fuels the supply. While we continue to share our conquests, we continue to spread education and awareness with the hope it will drive dog lovers and adversaries alike to make responsible, compassionate choices.

Looking Back

When Free Korean Dogs was founded in 2015, we could never imagine what the future would hold for us 9 years later. Our organization has grown to what we are today thanks to an amazing community of dedicated and compassionate people who banded together for a common cause. While the path was not always easy, we now know that difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations, and to quote John Adams, “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and
obstacles vanish”. Seeing what we’ve seen and knowing what we know, turning our backs on those who need help is not an option, so we will only solider forward and continue to lend our hands and voices to those who need it.

Today, Free Korean Dogs has had over 1600 dogs from grisly beginnings walk through our (metaphoric) revolving doors into their loving forever homes. As we continue to care for, rehabilitate, and provide sanctuary for over 100 of our dog meat trade rescues while working to support others, we are humbled in knowing we do not stand on the frontlines alone. Free Korean Dogs shares our success with our fellow rescuers, volunteers, partners, adopters, donors, supporters, and Korean colleagues, all of whom our work would not be possible without. When we felt defeated, uncertain, and at a loss of hope, it was our community who raised us up and gave us the motivation to move forward. Words cannot express our gratitude for all the help and support everyone has provided us over the years, and the achievements we share together.

Looking Ahead

Next year will mark our 10-year anniversary of rescue, where we will celebrate 10 years of comradery, hard work, and transformations. To celebrate, we are excited to announce our limited-edition calendar featuring 365 of our amazing alumni. The calendar features a “dog a day”, complete with a photo printed in full color along with a short blurb about them.

We thank all our alumni who participated in its making by contributing their photos, Alissa, for lending her time and expertise to design the project, and Steve at Tristone Media who helped bring the designs to life.

Get to know our alumni, celebrate their lives, and bring a smile to your face every day as you flip through the pages! We look forward to many more celebrations in the future, thank everyone who has been a part of our journey thus far, and look forward to crossing paths with those we have yet to meet.

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