With a new year comes new resolutions, and we have big goals on the horizon. Four and a half years ago, we would have never imagined we would be where we are today. Before Free Korean Dogs (FKD) was established, our founder and executive director EK never thought she would lead, much less institute an organization devoted to international rescue.
It all began when she was visiting her hometown in her native Korea, where she witnessed two men hanging a dog by the neck from a bridge. Horrified by the men’s disregard of any moral wrongdoing, she decided while she was unable to save that dog, she would save others. Her goal was to save 10 dogs. Only 10 dogs from a life of torture, abuse, and neglect and bring them to Canada to start a new life. However, after fulfilling her goal a void still remained. The plight of the dogs who remained in Korea was impossible to ignore and with that, Free Korean Dogs was founded on July 1st, 2015.
With the tireless work of EK and the formidable community she has nurtured, FKD has found loving homes for over 850 Korean rescue dogs to date. By the end of 2020, we will have achieved a milestone of over 1000 adopted dogs. It will certainly be a means for celebration, but we hope our 5th anniversary can be commemorated with something larger – the inauguration of our very own sanctuary.
Establishing a sanctuary has always been a dream, but we finally feel ready to put pen to paper on our drawing board to make it a reality. With overrun shelters in Korea spread thin on operational and financial resources, having a sanctuary would allow us to relieve some of the stressors by bringing the dogs to Canada and subsequently allowing the shelters in Korea to help more dogs in need.
We envision a quiet countryside setting with an indoor living space (as the shelters in Korea can only afford outdoor kennels), but also ample greenery for our dogs to play, run free, and just be dogs. We foresee a place where people can come meet the dogs, and see that rescue dogs are no different from others in their ability to love and be loved. We dream of a space our volunteers and community can physically convene and work towards our common goals.
Before any of this is possible, we must first find and purchase a property to plant our seeds before the tree can grow. It will be a year of hard work, networking, and fundraising. This will no doubt be an uphill journey. It feels as we are standing at the base of a mountain as tall as the Everest, dwarfed by its size and obstacles. But 4 and a half years ago, no one would have imagined a single person without any prior knowledge of animal rescue would have initiated the closure of 3 dog meat farms and successfully rehomed over 850 dogs saved from torture, abuse, and neglect. At times when we doubted even ourselves, we’ve marched onwards and upwards.
There exists a famous quote that reads “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
While we may no longer be small nor are changing the world, we are as committed as ever in changing the world of the dogs who were never given a chance. We look forward to this uphill climb, and hope you will all join us in this exciting new endeavor for the new year.
Written by Sara Liao, Board of Director & Adoption Manager