A kind-hearted woman named Jenny Kim was supposed to celebrate her birthday on Wednesday, last week. Instead, she received a call from a puppy mill owner in Bucheon City, South Korea, asking her if she wanted to take the 96 dogs living on his property.
Kim, an animal welfare advocate and founder of Passion for Compassion and the newly established Korean Dog Sanctuary, knew she had to take them after the owner said that if she didn’t want them, he was going to sell the dogs to a local slaughterhouse, where they would be killed for their meat. They also slaughter dogs to make soju elixir, a tonic made from dogs that some believed have medicinal qualities.
The kind-hearted woman immediately agreed to rescue the poor dogs— Kim has opposed the dog meat trade in the country for many years.
“I had a puppy when I was a child and one day it disappeared,” Kim told The Dodo. “When I was older, I found out that my grandmother cooked my dog for the Bok Nal festival for my father and grandfather and the men in our family.”
Kim was devastated and now she wants to help save the homeless dogs from being slaughtered. She immediately called several volunteers to help her transport all 96 dogs; however, nothing prepared them from what they were going to see next.
“This was truly heartbreaking,” Kim said. “They were in the dark, cramped in cages, and as soon as I walked near, they all cried for relief.”
“I could smell the stench as I was walking near the farm,” Kim said. “I can smell the urine which burned my eyes and nostrils. It’s horrific — cages are stacked on top of each other and feces are everywhere, even on the dogs.”
Kim and the volunteers quickly moved all 96 dogs from the puppy mill to a new location.
“She [Kim] said that the moment she opens the cage doors and removes them, there’s a split second when she holds them that they are quiet, as if they know they are being saved,” Sian Davies, a volunteer with Korean Dog Sanctuary, told The Dodo. “She feels an overwhelming sense of relief that she has them and she can finally feel peace for a little while.”
They immediately gave plenty of food and water the moment the dogs arrived at a rented facility. “We are taking care of these babies,” Kim said.
The next step is getting the dogs all the medical care they need, but the rescue team is struggling to find money to make everything happen.
“We will not [fully] know their conditions until they are thoroughly vetted,” Kim said. “Some have leg problems since they were kept in cramped cages. We do not know if they have parvo, heartworms or distemper … none of the dogs were vaccinated obviously.”
According to Kim, it will cost $250 to get each dog basic medical care, including vaccinations and spaying and neutering. All 96 dogs will also have to go through series of tests for parvovirus, distemper, heartworm disease and other issues will cost more.
All 96 dog will be transported overseas as soon as they are healthy enough to be adopted.
“People have been reaching out to us … rescue groups, adopters and fosters have all been offering their help, and it’s been an emotional journey for all of us,” Davies said. “It has united many people and many organizations … and we are so thankful for all of these people stepping forward for these dogs and being the voice for the voiceless.”
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Source: The Dodo