On July 1st, Free Korean Dogs will celebrate our first year anniversary. The year was full of challenges, struggle and sometimes heartache. But we are also very excited and encouraged by what we’ve achieved in such a short time. As July 1st approaches, now is a great time for a look back at what we hoped to accomplish, what we’ve achieved so far and where we need to go from here.
Free Korean Dogs was founded with the mandate of ending the Korean dog meat trade and promoting compassion over cruelty for the dogs of Korea. This will be achieved through a three-point strategy of public awareness, community outreach and international adoption.
Awareness, Outreach and Adoption
Our international adoption program is off to a fantastic start. We have partnered primarily with two shelters in Korea, Jinoak Shelter and Wizard of Hope, who do a wonderful job of caring for rescued dogs and preparing them for the long journey to their adoptive homes abroad.
At the other end of the world are those wonderful souls who have adopted dogs rescued from the Korean dog meat trade. Adoptive families throughout Canada and the United States have stepped up and opened their homes to these deserving animals. It’s a lot of work and a big commitment, for which we are eternally grateful. As a result, we’ve been able to find loving forever homes for numerous dogs who would otherwise have suffered and died to make dog meat soup.
We have also been blessed with a dedicated community of animal advocates and organizations throughout the world. They help by sourcing adoptive homes, spreading the word and assisting with transportation costs for the dogs.
While adoption and community outreach are fantastic and necessary, real and lasting change will only happen through effectively cultivating public awareness. To paraphrase the old saying: to change the world, first you must change your mind.
That’s why we’ve been working to send a clear and positive message to the people of Korea: With all humility and compassion, Korea, you’re better than this. The Korean dog meat trade must end. The dogs of Korea deserve our love and compassion.
To deliver this message, we’ve created, participated in, and helped to promote, a number of promotional videos, articles, protests and face-to-face discussions. Most important of all, EK has been working diligently to complete her feature length documentary, Compassion Soup: the End of Dog Meat in Korea.
The message is getting through, and a new generation of Korean youth are growing up with values of kindness and compassion toward all animals.
Where to from here?
With all of this behind us, however, we have so much further to go. This summer thousands of dogs will suffer and die to make dog meat soup during Bok Nal, the dog days of summer in Korea. The animal activist community in Korea is quite fragmented and suffers from significant internal disagreement. The Korean government and industry leaders are still reticent about the completely unregulated dog meat trade. And the death toll continues to rise.
That’s why we’re more motivated than ever to push ahead. We’re organizing Korea’s first ever multi-organization protest against the dog meat trade in the heart of Seoul, Korea, on July 23rd, 2016, the height of Bok Nal. During that journey, EK will complete filming for the documentary. We plan to finish production by the end of the summer and are shooting for a release date in spring, 2017. We will, of course, continue to grow our international adoption efforts over the next year. In fact, we are incredibly pleased to announced that Dog Tales Sanctuary and Animal Alliance of Canada have recently agreed to take in some Korean rescue dogs.
As we prepare to celebrate our first birthday and reflect on the incredible achievements of the past year, it’s hard to ignore the incredible amount of work ahead. As a not-for-profit organization, we rely on your generosity to sustain our efforts. Please donate to the Bok Nal 2016 campaign before July 1st to help us end the Korean dog meat trade.