The proof that one truly believes is in action. (Bayard Rustin)
SOUTH KOREAN PARTNERS
AN AURA OF HOPE
With an immense vitality, our South Korean Partners, illuminate the dark, deep folds of the appalling and illegal dog and cat meat industry through investigations, education, legislation, rescue, and campaigns, among other actions. These individuals of transcendent courage monitor and expose the horrific cruelty and injustice occurring on a daily basis, vigorously gathering evidence and documentation.
JIHYUN STEPHANIE JUN (JJ)
A former senior researcher for a South Korean government agency, and one of the Korean delegates for OECD as well as APEC technology working groups, JJ, Korean liaison and strategist for IDA, masterfully choreographed IDA’s trip to South Korea, expertly handling all logistical matters, not an easy feat. JJ contacted the recently formed South Korean animal-protection organization, People Defending Animals (PDA), for which she is a volunteer and a member of the management-operation team, to help set up IDA’s meeting with the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and to arrange for the services of the country’s foremost interpreter, Veronica Bae. For the meeting, JJ helped to map out a strategy. She also arranged meetings with the leading South Korean-protection organizations and acted as coordinator and first-rate translator. She handled all the arrangements for the rescues—negotiating veterinary visits, shelter stays, foster homes, and transportation, and when they are flown to the U.S., she welcomes each new arrival at Los Angeles’ LAX, takes photographs and videos, and helps ease the transition. A volunteer and foster with Happy Angels Dog Rescue (HADR) in Los Angeles, JJ also assists various groups with online technical assistance, including Facebook and twitter. JJ and her charming dog Milo fostered Moonbear, one of the IDA rescues.
KOREA ANIMAL RIGHTS ADVOCATES (KARA)
One of the most respected of South Korean animal-protection organizations, the volunteer group fervently believes that animals have a right to live their lives free from tyranny and suffering. Its mission is campaigning against the exploitation and abuse of animals, and working to strengthen animal-protection enforcement. Through its myriad campaigns, KARA educates the public about the ethical issues surrounding animal protection in South Korea, as well as promoting vegetarian and vegan culture. Many of South Korea’s most celebrated luminaries—novelists, singers, musicians, actors, among others, support KARA.
RESCUE OF SEVENTY DOGS
On September 23, 2011, an urgent call came into KARA, pleading for help with dogs who lived in a house soon to be demolished. When KARA staff visited the site, animal happiness was in abundance, with dogs cheerfully welcoming the visitors. The immediate thought was to take as many as possible and find them homes but, upon closer inspection, too many were of mixed breed, which was dispiriting, because in South Korea, purebreds are the much-preferred animal companions. A few dogs were taken until other arrangements could be made.
The man who had been caring for them in the house was deeply worried. A day laborer, he had been living with the dogs at a temporary spot next to a construction site. But with plans for redevelopment underway, the city council told him to move. Looking to relocate as far as Gangwon province, the caretaker knew it was difficult because most landlords were reluctant to rent land to someone with so many dogs.
KARA said that though he may be viewed as a hoarder, he is much more a rescuer, a man whose heart beats for animals, especially the abandoned, abused, unwanted. He began rescuing dogs from the streets until there were 70. KARA didn’t condemn him for having so many dogs; rather, it assigned blame to all the irresponsible people who routinely and blithely abandon their animal companions to their own fate, which is a pervasive problem in the country.
Carrying out spay and neuter surgeries and working on some potential adoptions, KARA found a new location in Suwon for the dogs to stay. Some of the younger ones found homes and KARA continued to search out homes for the more senior among them. The rest would soon settle into this miracle refuge.
At the end December, KARA’s volunteer medical team visited the new Suwon Shelter to conduct heartworm tests and fifteen dogs tested positive. Donations from KARA supporters allowed for medical treatment. Then KARA discussed with the guardian of the dogs the importance of providing medication and the healthy food KARA provided.
The momentous news is that the construction of a new shelter-refuge large enough to accommodate 70 dogs is nearly complete and most of the dogs are now living there.
There is no residential area near the new shelter, so it will be free from complaints about noise and smells.
The caretaker, who has been transformed into a new shelter manager, was provided with construction materials, such as cement and wood paneling, for further construction work. He promised that he would continue working on the inside of the shelter to provide a cozier environment for the dogs, aside from all the love and tenderness he bestows upon all the individuals he saved.
IDA helped fund the operation of a luminous blue bus that traveled the streets of Seoul last July and August, emblazoned with the slogan, “Tears of Bok-Nal: Dogs are the same. There is no dog for meat,” during what is known as “the dog-eating days.” Bearing IDA’s logo, the bus was accompanied by buoyant activists, wearing matching blue T-shirts, holding banners and signs from a moving float, and marching on the streets, with dogs everywhere on view. The vibrant bus drew the attention of fascinated onlookers, who sent photos and tweeted, which inspired KARA to hold a promotion—“Take pictures of our bus!,” offering give-a-ways of thirty books about homeless animals.
THE COEXISTENCE OF ANIMAL RIGHTS ON EARTH (CARE)
CARE, the country’s largest animal-rights organization, was founded on August 31, 2002. Its lofty mission is to rescue animals in need, prevent animal cruelty, and strengthen animal welfare laws. CARE actively and boldly rescues animals and runs its own shelter. The goal, CARE says, is to prevent lost, stray, and abandoned animals from being abused, neglected, or traded into the dog meat industry, while working diligently to provide these animals with safe new homes for adoption. CARE also works tirelessly to convince the South Korean government to update and revise laws that affect companion animals. One of CARE’s achievements in this area are the recent amendments to the Animal Protection Act, which now includes segregation rights for abused animals and funding for animal welfare monitoring systems. CARE continues to bring South Korea’s dog meat issue into the public consciousness by showing how the illegal industry leads to terrible animal cruelty. CARE believes that differentiating between “edible dogs” and “pet dogs” makes no sense. CARE regularly holds public campaigns and educational events to raise awareness for animal-related issues, such as promoting the spaying and neutering of companion animals and controlling the overpopulation of feral cats. CARE also actively seeks solutions to problems associated with factory farming and laboratory testing of animals.
SUWON RESCUE, APRIL, 2010
In Suwon, CARE came upon a slaughterhouse that was hidden from view. It was apparent that all the dogs kept in the 10 cages were stray dogs. CARE couldn’t determine the way these dogs were slaughtered or killed. The workers at manufacturing plants near the slaughterhouse contacted CARE. They spoke about the terrible stink and the barking.
Some CARE staff went to Suwon to conduct a field investigation and to photograph the place prior to a full-scale rescue. The photos revealed the most appalling slaughterhouse every seen. The whole place was covered with 30cm-filled excreta. Each cage was holding one dog and all of them (except one Golden Retriever) were very afraid of humans. A Shitzu and a white Jindo were sharing one cage and were leaning toward each other for comfort. And a yellow dog was helplessly drowning in her own excreta. What made it even more horrifying is that all they could eat was rotten food waste. And they had to look at the slaughtering tools all day long that sat right in front of their cages.
After this sickening story and photos were publicized online, CARE pushed the rescue ahead at dawn as it simultaneously launched a petition against the slaughterhouse. After the rescue, the slaughterhouse was demolished as a result of the petition
and persistent and radical protest. Suwon city’s Web site was rendered in a state of paralysis with the enormous flow of traffic caused by an avalanche of complaints.
All of the dogs rescued from the slaughterhouse were adopted and are having the time of their lives.
IDA was among contributors to a large van that CARE transformed into a rescue vehicle that has been involved in a number of breathtaking rescues.
PDA is made of a group of various professionals with exceptional talents. Its mission is to create a world where people and animals live happily in harmony. To do so, it is currently focusing on adoption (“Don’t buy, adopt”), but with the emphasis on “guardianship” or companion relationships, so that people can learn the notion that every living being is important and precious. It is also involved in doing an online campaign for veganism, which benefits the environment, human health, and the health of animals. With an ardent energy, it campaigns for the banning of dog meat. On the verge of expanding its activities, it takes a more non-confrontational approach, which it considers a more efficient strategy for the long term, and not getting an adverse reaction nor alienating the public it wants to attract.
SEMMY, SEPTEMBER, 2011
A restaurant’s banner reads, “Farm-direct Health Soup” (known as Boshingtang). The banner also offers “pre-ordering a whole” (meaning, not chopped, but the whole body of a dog). A Cocker Spaniel was spotted in the back yard of this restaurant, along with Jindos and Jindo mixes, tied on a very short chain, and beaten frequently by the restaurant owners. The spaniel was seen drooling uncontrollably out of stress and fear. A PDA member persuaded the restaurant owner to surrender her. Fortunately, Semmy was saved just before she was about to be killed. She flew into L.A. on Sept 24th, 2011, and was fostered until her glorious adoption in March.
MISO (SMILE IN KOREAN), NOVEMBER, 2011
There was a piercing scream and a car leaving the countryside road. A car had hit a dog. The driver knew it was a neighbor’s dog, but he didn’t seem to care. He said that that he was in a hurry to pick up his daughter so would just leave the dog lying there in pain. The dog’s “owner” didn’t seem to care either. The man who hit the little dog said, “Well, if it dies, we can grab and eat it. Then he (the neighbor, owner of the dog) can take one of my dogs.” According to PDA, it’s still some rural dwelling’s mentality— dogs being regarded as mere property. So PDA set off to rescue the little dog, rushed to the vet clinic, and named her Miso. Her pelvic bone was fractured but, luckily, her muscles around the bone were not injured. Since Miso was just about six months old, she could heal quickly. She just needed limited movement and a confined area for about three weeks, as well as painkillers. The bone healed nicely. Miso was the perfect name for such a smiling dog. She always smiles. She’s currently fostered at a PDA supporter’s home and available for adoption. She’s friendly, playful, yet cuddly and gentle.
KOREAN ANIMAL WELFARE ASSOCIATION (KAWA)
Established in 2000, the highly regarded organization promotes the welfare of animals in South Korea and worldwide. KAWA works to reduce suffering and to create social change of all animals, including companion animals, farm animals, animals in laboratories, and wildlife. KAWA works through public education, cruelty investigation, rescue, research, legislation, and protest campaigns. All its work is funded by personal donations. Currently, KAWA is in the process of building a new shelter, which will be a refuge for more than 200 animals, in addition to its current no-kill shelter, which provides homes to more than 90 animals.
Not long ago, a kindergarten teacher called KAWA from Northern Seoul. She was frantic and said that some elderly men in her neighborhood were preparing to cook a puppy and were ruthlessly beating him. KAWA’s director and a colleague sped to the puppy’s aid. When they arrived, the puppy was hanging from a wall and a man was smashing his head in, while another puppy from the same litter was watching in horror. After a heated argument, the activists escaped with the puppy and his sister, who was to be killed next, and took them to the vet.
The KAWA team named the pup Bok-Nam and his sister Bok-Hee, conferring upon them future happiness that the Chinese character “Bok” represents. They have both been nursed back to health, even though Bok-Nam was not able to eat a solid meal for many months. To KAWA’s surprise and delight, Bok-Nam grew up to be a very affectionate and friendly dog despite what he had been through. This handsome prince is now staying with other dogs at the KAWA shelter.
There isn’t a South Korean animal-protection organization, shelter, café, among other places, unfamiliar with BK. He is a one-man volunteer band, involved in rescue work, transporting stray and injured animals to veterinary clinics, foster families, adopters, and also providing assistance to individuals helping animals, delivering food, medicines, and necessary supplies. A videographer, BK works with media to publicize animals in need, runs Web site cafés for volunteers, and produces anti-dog meat posters and stickers; makes Internet connections to arrange for food and provisions for animals in the shelters; and makes arrangements with veterinary clinics that offer free spay and neuter to cats. He rescues former animal companions and picks up strays to find them a safe place to live, and volunteers at shelters. He writes his own blog, where he focuses upon the dog meat industry, the tragedy of deserting dogs and cats, providing information on caring for animals, and promoting adoptions. He has a reputation for being at the center of rescue activities, shelters, and adoptions. BK is the guardian of two large, beautiful dogs, Hyori and Soondol, who welcomed two of the IDA rescues into their care: Cleo the cat and Moonbear, who was invited to join the cake party.