Korean Dog Rescue

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Today, 29 dogs destined for slaughter as part of the Korean dog meat trade found refuge with San Diego Humane Society. The Special Response Team from San Diego Humane Society transported the 29 dogs from San Francisco after the dogs arrived by international flight from South Korea as part of a Humane Society International (HSI) rescue effort.

San Diego Humane Society veterinarians and animal care staff will spend this afternoon and coming days conducting exams of the 29 dogs to ascertain their health and wellbeing with the hope of placing the dogs up for adoption.

When approached to care for these dogs, San Diego Humane Society didn’t hesitate in spite of the significant impact on resources, space, and personnel. The 29 dogs arriving at San Diego Humane Society today will require medical treatment and the overdue TLC that they have been denied thus far. Any necessary behavior modification work will also be provided before re-homing the dogs to adopters.

“Our goal is to end animal suffering in any form it takes. The dog meat trade is one of the most horrific forms of cruelty and we’ve taken on helping these animals as an urgent mission for San Diego Humane Society,” says Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO. “Our partnership with Humane Society International is critical to our ability to provide a second chance for animals; in this case animals destined for the worst type of abuse and slaughter.”

For a list of the current dogs available for adoption, please view our adoptable animals or call our front desk at 619.299.7012.

More About The Effort To Save Dogs From The Korea Meat Trade

In this rescue effort, Humane Society International is transferring more than 100 dogs from South Korea to the U.S., mostly mastiffs ranging in weight from 20-60 pounds up to 100-130 pounds. Other breeds include Jindo-mixes and Chihuahuas. All are estimated to be between 1-2 years old with the exception of some 4-9 month old puppies.

HSI is working in countries across Asia to end the dog meat trade and helping dog meat farmers transition to more humane ways of making a living. HSI requested the help of San Diego Humane Society to care for, rehabilitate, and rehome these dogs.

Considering Adopting a Dog from Korea?

Thank you for considering adoption! By adopting this dog, you’re giving him a fresh start at a new life. Just as it is for people, change can be scary for dogs; especially those who lacked positive experiences early on. But you can help him transition into these brand new experiences of living in a home with a loving family – something he’s never known before. This process can be tremendously rewarding, but it can pose some challenges and will require a lot of patience and understanding.

Behaviors You May Notice

  • He’s spent his life in a cage, so he’s learned to lie in his own waste because clean surfaces weren’t available. Potty training will be necessary.
  • His positive human interaction has probably been limited, and may only have occurred from inside a cage. It’s possible he wasn’t exposed to new people, animals, sights, sounds or
    experiences during his critical socialization period (between 3-12 weeks of age), so he’ll likely be afraid of common things like walking on grass, birds flying, wearing a leash, etc.

As his new pet parent, you can help ease stress and assure him that the world isn’t a scary place by creating positive experiences. If you take things slowly and go at his pace, you can help your shy dog overcome his fears!

What to Expect During Your First Days Together

It’s not uncommon for an undersocialized dog to hide under a couch or table for days or even weeks at a time, only coming out to eat and drink at night. Remember, the more patient and gentle you are, the faster he will come around. Here are some helpful tips to start you off on the right foot:

  • Give your new dog a crate covered with a blanket as a “safe haven.” Reward him for entering the crate with lots of yummy treats.
  • Keep the crate beside your bed to help him get used to your presence and so he can quietly bond with you while you both rest.
  • Because he was housed with other dogs he may trust new dogs before he trusts new people. So if you already have a friendly, outgoing dog, he’ll be a great comfort to your new dog, as well as a valuable role model. After initial introductions, make sure your dogs have opportunities to spend time together.
  • Give your dog at least a few days to bond with you and settle in before introducing to strangers. When he seems more comfortable with you, he can start meeting new friends, one or two at a time, in quiet, familiar environments.

How to Help Your Dog Adjust to His New Life

  • GO SLOWLY.  Don’t force your dog to come to you; this will only reinforce the idea that people are unpleasant. Instead, sit calmly on the floor and wait for him to approach, using yummy treats to help. Also, remember that many aspects of everyday life may arouse anxiety and stress: objects in motion such as bikes and strollers, the sounds of a washing machine or hair dryer, car rides. Introduce these new experiences gradually, and use treats to build positive associations and encourage exploration.
  • DON’T MAKE LOUD OR STARTLING NOISES. Keep your voice calm and quiet, and ask visitors to do the same.
  • USE FOOD AS A MOTIVATOR. If your dog shows fear of a dog bowl, try hand feeding or feeding on the floor near you. This technique also can entice your dog to come to you and show him that human contact is enjoyable. Learn the foods that most appeal to your dog, and use them to strengthen your bond. To help your dog overcome fear of novel
    objects, use a technique called targeting: teaching the dog to touch things with his nose to earn a reward, like a treat.
  • STAY POSITIVE. It may take some time for your dog to adjust to this new way of life. Stay patient and positive! Remaining consistent with positive reinforcement training will pay off in the long run so you and your dog can have a happy, healthy life together! He will repay you with unconditional love and loyalty.

Additional Support

Remember, you’re not alone! San Diego Humane Society has a Behavior & Training team of professional animal trainers who can help. Visit our calendar of upcoming training classes or utilize our “Ask a Trainer” online support service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is HSI’s role in this?

A: We received a request from Humane Society International (HSI) to care for and rehome the dogs. HSI is working in countries across Asia to end the dog meat trade and helping dog meat farmers transition to more humane ways of making a living.

Q: What type of care is needed for these dogs?

A: Special veterinary care, sufficient housing enclosures, food and medical supplies, are necessary to care for these dogs. Many are between 100-130 pounds, so it takes significant resource to transport and house animals of this size.

Q: Are they healthy?

A: Their health and safety are at the top of our priorities. Our team has prepared extensively, but the reality of rescuing animals from a situation of large-scale neglect is that they have many long-standing medical concerns that need to be treated. We are cautiously optimistic and our staff is prepared to provide any care necessary. After the stress of transportation and arriving to a new environment, our priority will be to give these animals time and space to adjust, and be medically cleared, before they can be adopted into new homes.

Q: Will any need to be euthanized?

A: Each will be evaluated by a veterinarian and monitored by trained animal care staff to allow us to identify any potential health concerns. We are committed to getting each dog the care they need and will go to great lengths for each animal in our care. Sometimes euthanasia is the only humane solution, but that’s a decision we don’t take lightly and only consider after all alternatives have been explored. We won’t know the health status of these dogs until they have been evaluated by a veterinarian.

Q: What should I know if I’m interested in adopting?

A: Just as it is for people, change can be scary for dogs; especially those who lacked positive experiences early on. These dogs have probably never felt grass, never walked on a leash, and have never been housetrained. Training, patience and understanding will all be necessary. But you can help them transition into these brand new experiences of living in a home with a loving family – something they’ve never known before. And you’re not alone: we have a team of professional trainers who can help with training classes, private training sessions, and our free behavior helpline.

Q: I want to make a donation to support your work – how can I do that?

A: If you would like to make a donation, you may donate online here. Donations can also be mailed to 5500 Gaines Street, San Diego, CA 92110. Contributions from the community are the only way we can continue to care for animals in need.