After making the decision to adopt a dog, I landed on SaveKoreanDogs.org after a quick Google search, and into a world I didn’t even know excited.
That world consisted of dogs being tortured and murdered for the consumption of their meat.
I immediately clicked on the adoptable dogs tab and started scrolling through hundreds of dogs that have been rescued from meat farms in South Korea. Each dog was different; they had their own name, their own breed, and their own story. After looking through dozens of pages of adoptable dogs, I clicked on next and the first dog on the 4th page was the most handsome golden boy I’d ever seen. I immediately knew this was the dog that was supposed to be in my life. I filled out and submitted an adoption application immediately and messaged every board member I could find on Facebook; I knew I was meant for this dog.
Norman had a list of health issues attached to his profile, from terminal heartworm to kidney failure. He had beaten the odds by escaping death at the hands of men, and then escaping death a second time due to the illnesses he had. None of this mattered to me. I was going to do anything it took to get this sweet boy from South Korea to California.
After being stuck in a crate for nearly 30 hours, Norm finally stepped onto US soil on June 17, 2020. From slaughter house, to the Save Korean Dog Sanctuary, to Los Angeles, and finally to Kingsburg, Norm’s “forever” was just beginning.
There are a lot of things to know when adopting a dog-meat-trade survivor. The trauma they have seen is difficult for us to comprehend. Not only are they killed for their meat, but they’re intentionally tortured in the process. All is done in the presence of other dogs awaiting the same fate. They have seen and lived through hell and remember it. Norm was not exempt from this trauma. Everything was new to him; cars, cats, kind humans. He had to learn how to trust everything around him.
If you’ve ever seen Norm, or met him, you will quickly learn that all he wants to do is to be loved. He will sit and stare at you for hours just for a simple pat on the head. After having Norm for a couple of months, we decided to foster another dog saved from the same fate. She flew into LAX on October 11th, 2020, and entered our hearts forever. Dolores is now a part of our family. Some call it a foster fail; we call it a foster success!
We have since opened our home to many foster dogs, rescued locally. There is a common theme with each rescue story, and that is that foster homes save lives. They bridge the gap between death and life and allow dogs to have the space to decompress, learn to trust their surroundings, and allow their personality to shine. There are too many dogs that don’t have this opportunity, and are deemed unadoptable and killed every day. Norman and Delores’ stories are unique in some fashion; however, there is a massive need for families to foster dogs in this exact situation within our community.
“How can I help” is a question I get quite often. The quick answer is to become self-aware of the need for foster families and, the importance of spaying and neutering. It’s time for everyone to step up and be their voice!
Contact Diane at [email protected]