We say it all the time – rescue is simultaneously fulfilling and inspiring as it is disheartening and traumatic. Earlier this year, we shared a rescue story of a few dogs who were being raised on a construction site to be sold for meat as a secondary income, and the efforts made to save them.
Although we managed to save 5 dogs at the time, it was not the outcome we had hoped for as he only agreed to relinquish a select few dogs in his “care”, and we had no guarantee he would not simply source more dogs to replace the ones we had rescued. With lack of legislation and enforcement surrounding animal welfare laws in Korea, we knew history would likely repeat itself. And with that, we came to terms with the fact that while we couldn’t save them all, we saved who we could and spared 4 beautiful souls from a callous fate.
Returning to the Scene:
Since their rescue, our volunteers in Korea have been closely monitoring the situation. Unsurprisingly, some of the dogs who were previously on the property have since disappeared, likely already sold to the meat market or slaughtered for a personal meal. To our surprise and delight, a white female jindo who the owner previously refused to release remained, and was now a mother to 5 one-month old puppies. We also found 3 approximately three-month old puppies on site with no mother to be found. It is our assumption her fate took a dark turn after she had given birth to her litter and was no longer deemed useful.
It was a deja vu moment, with attempts to educate and bring awareness to the situation again falling on deaf, defiant ears. After days of unsuccessful negotiations, the owner eventually agreed to release the white jindo and puppies, but adamantly insisted a brown jindo would stay behind. At this point we felt both satisfied we were able to save the dogs, but also disheartened we were stuck in an endless cycle which saw the rescuing of dogs, only for them to be replaced by more dogs who would eventually need saving.
Thankfully, the multiple visits to the construction site turned out not in vain. After spending time on location, our rescue team realized there were many areas of the property which we were indeed not up to code, or in violation of bylaws. With potential hefty fines as a result, the owner finally relented and agreed to not only relinquish all the dogs, but also sign a contract stating he would never own dogs again. Our rescue team will subsequently be monitoring the situation to ensure there is no breach of contract, and destroying the cages on the property.
While we do not take pride or pleasure in getting involved in affairs outside of our interests in ensuring the welfare of the dogs, sometimes we need as much leverage as we can get to make sure we can prevent the dogs from suffering an unimaginable fate. We are grateful to have found that opportunity which garnered a favorable outcome which we would not have the same degree of success without.
10 NEW FACES:
After a frustrating few days, we were finally able to welcome 10 new faces to our rescue, consisting of a mother and her 3 puppies, 5 other puppies from another litter, and the brown jindo who pushed us to fight as hard as we could. Not all rescue stories end this way, with the ability to put a stop to an individual’s practice for good. Sometimes we have to make peace with the fact that although we can’t save them all, we have done our best to save the ones we could. This time, we feel fortunate to have been able to end the cycle for good.
The dogs will be in quarantine and medically assessed, tested for heartworms and other parasites, and given their vaccinations. All dogs will also be spayed and neutered when deemed healthy enough, or in the case of the puppies, old enough. It’s a beginning of a whole new life for these pups, and we can’t wait for their journey to unfold!
(As of the time of writing, we are happy to announce all 4 dogs from the previous rescue from this construction site have found their forever homes in Toronto after receiving care and successfully passing their medical and behavioral assessments).
Written by Sara Liao, Board of Directors & Adoption Manager