Korea May 2022 (10)

Our Executive Director is All Hands on Deck in Korea!

EK Park, our founder and executive director, currently has her boots on the ground in Korea where she will be working on the frontlines and preparing for our next big project.

Being a part of a rescue dog’s journey, be it as a flight volunteer, foster, or adopter, is an extraordinarily rewarding experience. However, the reality is that the task of finding a dog’s forever home is only a small part of the completed puzzle. The preceding stages can be a lengthy journey that many often don’t see or realize.

Shelter Visits

We’ve spoken in detail about the many hurdles and complications faced when shutting down a dog meat farm operation, and how it can be a lifetime project. This week, EK visited our partner shelters in preparation for intake for our next project, and to ensure they are receiving the proper support within our capacity to assist. Taking in dogs from dog meat farms and other deplorable backgrounds is a significant undertaking. They are first required to quarantine upon arrival to ensure any potentially infectious diseases are contained. During this process, they are monitored and examined by vets and treated for any physical ailments. This can include anything from mange, heartworm, autoimmune diseases, or tumors. While the physical healing begins, we also begin allowing them to socialize if it is deemed safe to do so. The socialization process can be glacially slow. Although physical wounds will inevitably heal over time, the emotional scars can run deep. After experiencing such a high level of emotional trauma, winning back the trust of these dogs is a long and slow process that moves (or doesn’t move) within any given timeline. The speed and progress of each individual dog is unique in its own way. Currently, we still have a number of dogs from the 2018 Dangjin dog meat farm, 2020 Boknal floods, and 2021 Yongjin dog meat restaurant rescue missions who are still rebuilding their confidence.

Coordinating Logistics

While there, EK personally visited our dogs at the shelters and will oversee the transfer of 4 of our Dangjin dog meat rescues from one of our partner shelters to our partner boarding house. Each one of our partner shelters offers different levels of socialization and decompression for our dogs, and as such our dogs are triaged through each facility until they are finally ready for adoption. Sometimes this takes weeks, sometimes years, and sometimes they may never make it there at all.

These dogs instead live in sanctuaries at the shelters. This is of course not ideal, as a shelter life is not a proper life for any dog. However, the shelter has become their “home” and we recognize the trauma of uprooting them for international adoption would bring upon them. As a result, we will continue to provide for them and help them in any way we can in their healing process wherever their fates may take them. Earlier this year, 7 of our Dosa dogs who had been attending training school for the past 3 years to address some fear-based behaviors, were moved to a private boarding facility.

Meeting Old and New Faces

EK will also personally meet some of the dogs living at our partner shelters who will need help finding homes in Canada and the US. Sometimes, rescuers are only able to get so far and need organizations like us to help with the final leg of a rescue dog’s journey.

The rescue takes a lot of time, patience, and effort, but we’re here for the entire plight. Follow along as we embark on our next mission, the triumphs, trials, and tribulations we will inevitably face, and where it all takes us.

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