Archie's Long Journey Home
Archie has come a long way since being rescued from a South Korean meat farm, and he’s not the only one who’s better for it.
More than 2.5 million dogs are raised in deplorable conditions in the South Korean meat trade each year. But dedicated animal welfare organizations are committed to changing that. One of them, Humane Society International, has helped shut down 12 dog meat farms there and around the world over the past 18 years, flying more than 1,300 dogs to Canada, the U.S. and U.K. to start their lives anew. One of those dogs, a roughly 4-year-old husky mix, was brought to San Diego Humane Society. Workers at the San Diego Campus named him Archie.
Dogs who are neglected and denied positive human interaction lack nearly every trace of socialization that companion animals have. They fear humans, aren’t housetrained and often keep silent. But they’re also capable of incredible transformations when given time, attention and love.
When Kirsten Campbell met Archie last April, he was two years removed from a place called “Farm Five.” Under the care of SDHS, Archie learned to walk on a leash and was housetrained. Campbell took to him right away.
“I felt I had a connection to him. I wanted to provide a space for him to live out his life in peace,” she says. A social media professional who works from a home she shares with other women, she felt she could give Archie, who was scared of men, a good environment. After meeting with SDHS’s adoption counselors and the trainers who worked closest with Archie, Campbell felt comfortable and ready to provide Archie with the ongoing training and care he needed, so she moved forward with the adoption.
At his new home in Oak Park, Archie enjoys his grassy, fenced yard and has another dog to run around with. “He’s completely changed how he behaves,” she says. “He used to be this scared, scrunched-down dog. Now he can look you in the eye without getting scared.” Archie even howls, barks, and comes up to Campbell to sniff and lick her—even on her face.
He has been weaned off medication for anxiety and almost off his medication for depression. “He’s continued to thrive and show signs of health and happiness. His stress level is much lower now,” she says.
Archie isn’t the only one who’s grown from the experience. Campbell developed a fear of dogs after she was bitten on the face as a child, but Archie is helping her push past her phobia. “I was afraid of dogs that look like Archie. But they don’t mean to hurt us, and when we have our hearts in the right place, we don’t want to hurt them either,” she says. “I’ve appreciated the opportunity to make up for the abuse these dogs have endured, for Archie in particular.”