Korean K9 Rescue

Korean K9 Rescue

Photo: Courtesy of the Korean K9 Rescue

The dog meat trade is still an unfortunate reality in South Korea, and because of it, thousands of pups are put to death. But places like Korean K9 Rescue are calling out the unfair industry as well as rescuing many dogs before it’s too late.

The non-profit, no-kill dog rescue organization saves dogs from the meat trade, as well as puppy mills and high-kill shelters in South Korea. Then, through an impressive network of volunteers, they are able to bring the canines all the way to NYC to be adopted.  

The puppy mill and dog meat industry work hand-in-hand and subsist of unregulated practices that are extremely harmful to the animals. Once a mother or father are not longer able to be bred, they are moved out of the puppy mills to be used for dog meat. In order to rescue them, the K9 rescue has a network of activists and volunteers to negotiate with dog meat markets. 

“Since the trade is not as popular as it once was most farmers agree to close down their farm with government incentives or pressure,” explained Korean K9 Rescue founder and director Gina Boehler. “The activists can also report certain farms to the local city government who can put pressure on them to shutdown for agricultural violations, which dog meat farms have many of such as unsanitary waste disposal, and unregulated dog farming such as not paying taxes, etc.”

After the dogs are rescued, they are vaccinated and given a 30 day quarantine period for health. This is done in the rescue’s "safe-house" in Ilsan, Korea that can house up to 30 dogs at a time in a state of the art facility. 

“The floors are heated, we practice holistic care and they are allowed to play and socialize in a structured way that is monitored by our 24/7 in house trainers,” Boehler said. “We rely on flight volunteers who are visiting NYC or returning from business or family trips from Korea to bring the dogs here for adoption. It is an amazing process of dedicated volunteers and activists in Korea that make this happen. Without their support we could not bring these dogs here for adoption.”

Once the dogs are brought to NYC, they have a 100% chance of being adopted — a success rate the rescue is super proud of. But Boehler urges prospective Korean dog adopters to be aware of their past circumstances, as it relates to their initial temperament when they are adopted. Because they were born into such unsanitary and inhumane circumstances, the pups are often fearful, traumatized and barely know how to play and show affection.. Rehabilitation and care from adopters can make them just as loving as their state-born counterparts, but it takes attention and diligence, especially in a bustling, stressful city like New York. 

“Our job as a rescue is not only to rehabilitate the dog but teach the owner how to continue the rehabilitation process and give guidance and advice on what the next steps are,” she explained. “We want the dogs to have a fulfilling life so we educate each adopter on the raw diet, training styles and techniques and transition into their home.”

In the new year, the rescue hopes to continue their adoption work stateside, but also focus on the change that can be implemented in Korea. They hope to launch a low cost vet clinic as well as spay/neuter initiative campaign towards the end of 2019, which would help create less suffering stray dogs in the country.

More info on the rescue’s amazing work and how to adopt a Korean canine can be found here

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