A dog rescue based in the U.S. committed to continuing their mission of saving dogs from the slaughterhouses of the Korean dog-meat markets and flying them to safety and homes here in the States. In an exclusive interview, the founder of Y-not Save a Sam Rescue, Yvette Nielsen, details the exciting story of how a pair of purebred dogs, a Great Pyrenees and a German Shepherd, were whisked out of Seoul, South Korea, two weeks and flown into San Francisco International Airport in California, where they were met with open arms by a pair local rescues.
Y-not, the rescue based in Utah, has an "agent" in place in South Korea (SKR), who we will refer to as "Jane", who risks her own life each time one if these missions of mercy are executed. Jane enters the holding areas in SKR pens where the dogs are held before they are hung by their paws, skinned alive and slaughtered. Jane videotapes the dogs in the pens, as well as taking still shots, and sends these photos to Y-not. Although Y-not's mission is "to rescue and find loving homes for Samoyeds, regardless of age, health, or geography," they will not hesitate to help other dogs in these horrific situations.
Yvette became involved with rescuing dogs from Korea because Samoyeds are a breed here in the U.S. who are rarely found in shelters. She currently has a waiting list of people wanting to adopt. Since Jan. 2014, her rescue has placed 21 Samoyeds from Korea into permanent homes, while continuing to rescue and place the occasional Samoyeds that are found in shelters here in the U.S., or are owner-turn-ins. dogs no longer able to be kept by their owners and need to be re-homed. She has also worked with Chicagoland Eski Rescue in placing American Eskimo dogs, and with Big Fluffy Dog Rescue in bringing over 5 dogs late last year.
Once Yvette received Jane's photos of a Great Pyr, who we'll call Wynter, and a German Shepherd, initially called Kanghee, later renamed Big Boy, she got to work, locating two rescues in the U.S. who would be willing to take in these dogs immediately.
Yvette said Wynter was a small female, had pea-sized tumors and had been badly beaten. Big Boy could be seen in the photographs hanging from his foot. There was no time to lose. These were not puppies; they were larger dogs, and in SKR they are more likely to get selected to be killed because they have the most meat. Yvette reached out to many rescues and Retrievers & Friends of Southern California agreed to take in Wynter. Maureen Delaney, of Delaney's Dog, stepped up to take in Big Boy.
There are various routes as to how many of these purebred dogs end up being nothing more than meat to fill the stomachs of people in these countries. There are three well-known breeders who sell their show dogs to dog fanciers and breeders in countries like SKR. Though the dogs are too old to be used as show animals here in the U.S., sometimes between 10- and 11-years-old, they can go for $15,000 in markets overseas, where they will be used as breeders.
Sometimes it's the breeding dogs that arrive in the meat-markets, when they are no longer breed-able. Sometimes it's the puppies that can't find a purchaser. Sometimes animal shelters shut down, and the animals end up here. Peoples pets are seen as commodities in many of these countries as well. They are traded for things, or just sold to the meat-market in exchange for cash. In an upcoming article, you'll find there ar many petitions circulating on the web; many people are extremely concerned with shutting down these hell-holes in every country where they exist.
In order to get the dogs into the U.S. from overseas, puppies must have proof of being vaccinated in the past 30 days. This means that the flights must be booked and fingers crossed that the dogs get on the plane. If they are bumped, or the flight is cancelled, and they have to wait past the 30-day mark, they must be seen again by a veterinarian and receive new paperwork. Like most animal rescues, Y-not exists primarily on donations. Some donors are able to help them with costs such as boarding, shipping crates, transporting, medical needs, health checks, foster homes and food. Veterinarians overseas and in the U.S. who helpful and are also happy to work with them, but there still are costs involved.
VCA of Los Angeles stepped up to help Big Boy. They knew he would be arriving with an injury to his leg due to his being hung from it, though they did not know the extent of his injury. Wynter would also need veterinary care upon arrival. Not only did she have the easily visible tumors, but 'her fur was matted to the skin, 4-6 inches thick... it was horrible.' Once Jane got the dogs out and to the local vet, she told Yvette that Wynter was "just as happy as could be. She was SAFE."
Maureen Delaney was at the airport in San Francisco to meet Wynter and Big Boy. You can see the photos and videos of both dogs at the meat market and after their freedom flight. Delaney's Dog would like to thank Brad from Operation Blankets of Love for all the supplies and food they have donated to her organization. They are a unique service, who also provide relief with critical supplies to comfort animals displaced or endangered by catastrophes and work with other relief organizations like the American Red Cross.
All of these organizations have more special rescues like these planned this week and in the months to follow, and will be assisting additional German Shepherds, a Golden Retriever, Samoyeds and more. If you can donate to the cause, please click here. There is a GoFundMe set up as well; please click here to help.
These dogs had no names in the meat markets. Jane's crew initially named the German Shepherd, Big Boy, "Kangee" because in Korean it means "Be strong". After Big Boy was seen by the veterinarian here, he confirmed that Big Boy would have to have his injured leg amputated. Maureen wrote, he will be "liberated not only from the pain, but from the horrific memory of how it got that way." All of these dogs, and the rescuer's involved, continue to show how strong they can be, uniting to help animals who, otherwise, would never have a chance.
Retrievers and Friends posted this on their Facebook page:
'The day began with a beautiful sunrise. The beginning to a new day and a new life for our beautiful Wynter. It was a long road to get here, but she is now safe with Retrievers and Friends, thanks to the caring individuals who made this happen. The mental and the physical anguish that these dogs go through there are no words. To know that one life has been spared makes our commitment to rescue even stronger. Life is now right for one special girl.' Here is their page to learn more about them, and to donate, if you can.
On Delaney's Dog, their GoFundMe link tells readers about Big Boy's recovery:
'He is very grateful and appreciative of all the wonderful people who contributed and helped him escape a torturous death at a South Korean meat market. He loves you all. xo'