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Dogs rescued from Korea arrive at LAX with a new ‘leash on life’


DOUBLE ADOPTION: A husband and wife adopted these two Jindo Love Rescue (JLR) dogs, saving them from the Korean dog meat trade. They are pictured here with JLR President Patti Kim in Seattle.   


BY LAURIE HANSON • July 25, 2020

Imagine being scared, running for your life, simply trying to survive, and being sold or kidnapped only to be killed for the dog meat trade. That is reality for many dogs in Korea unless they are saved by Jindo Love Rescue (JLR) of La Puente.

About two weeks ago, a flight arrived in Los Angeles with dogs ready for their forever homes. Since 2018, the nonprofit has rescued more than 900 dogs which they have flown to the U.S. and Canada for adoptions to give them a new lease on life

“We’ve been unofficially rescuing dogs from the meat trade, high kill shelters and from abuse and abandonment since June 2015,” said President Patti Kim. “It started with rescuer Su Jeong Kim acting on her own before we crossed paths on Facebook, where we started our journey together.”   

“At first, we were just as two people wanting to save the lives of these poor dogs,” explained Kim. “But our followers grew and as JLR got bigger, we became an official nonprofit registered in California in the summer of 2018, with our dogs in Korea.” She added that in Korea there is nothing like JLR, and that without them many dogs would not be rescued or survive.

The dog meat trade goes way back in history to when survival for food was an issue. Though not set in stone, it became a cultural tradition which Kim hopes will change much like the issue of slavery having changed overtime around the world.

“Older generations who don’t have the means or a job seem to find it profitable as each dog is sold for $100 to $200 to the slaughterhouses,” said Kim. “In the [Korean] countryside, you’ll see many people breeding dogs in their backyards to make money this way. We have rescued whole dog families, mothers and pups, on multiple occasions.”

Approximately 150 to 300 dogs are rescued a year and make their way to the JLR foster home in Korea. From there, they are medically vetted and spayed/neutered. They are subsequently boarded and trained in Korea. When matched and ready to be adopted, the dogs are flown to the U.S. to be placed in their permanent homes. Costs for all this can range from $1,700 up to $4,000. Flights alone before COVID-19 ran $250 to $650, but after the coronavirus cost anywhere from $800 to $4,000, according to Kim. Adoption fees cover about 50 percent of all the costs.

“Before COVID-19, typically for a healthy dog it would cost about $1,500 from the start of rescue to when they fly,” explained Kim. “Now because of the expensive flights, it costs about $2,500 on up.”

For adoptions, applications are not used first off, rather JRL utilizes an extensive interview process where they get to know prospective owners to access what kind of new life a dog will have with them. “We spend a tremendous amount of time as a team interviewing before an application is sent out,” said Kim. “We also track all our dogs and stay in touch with their families through our Family page on Facebook, where they can update us.”

The nonprofit is solely funded through donations including monthly ones from their rescue partner, In Defense of Animals (IDA) of San Francisco, besides JLR staff contributions. For the last two years, IDA has helped with monthly support and emergency needs plus getting JLR’s story out to educate and secure more financial support. One hundred percent of the funds raised goes directly to the dogs, as JLR is staffed by a team of seven volunteers in the U.S., according to Kim.

“We are rare in that we use every dollar for our dogs – there are no overhead costs of any kind such as marketing, advertising or administrative expenses,” said Kim. “We are all volunteers and receive no pay.”

For more information on how to make a positive difference in the lives of these dogs either by volunteering, donating or adopting, please visit Jindo Love Rescue online at www.jindoloverescue.org. You can also follow them on Facebook.

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