By Dara Smith and Jasmin Suknanan
Ten dogs rescued from a South Korean slaughterhouse will be available for adoption shortly after their quarantine period ends next Monday from Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption Center in Huntington, NY.
The 10 dogs, puggles, chihuahuas, and mix breeds, flew across the globe on Feb. 27 with the help of Free Korean Dogs, a registered non-profit charity in South Korea dedicated to ending the dog meat trade industry. They work to rescue survivors from the dog farms and slaughterhouses, as well as close down these locations.
In order to cover the cost of the rescue process, Little Shelter raised over $5,000 in donations in a week. Little Shelter receives all of its funding through donations from the public, corporate sponsorships and grants from foundations.
“This is groundbreaking for us that we are reaching across the globe,” David Ceely, executive director of Little Shelter said. The organization began rescuing dogs from different countries as far as Thailand and Azerbaijan only recently. “This is something that’s kind of come to light over the last few years. The whole meat trade industry over in Asia”
The two organizations became acquainted through networking. The program manager at Little Shelter was looking for partnerships and decided to assist a team from Free Korean Dogs in their mission to get the dogs out of the country and to America.
Little Shelter isn’t the only organization on Long Island that takes in dog from overseas. North Shore Animal League has also rescued dogs from the meat trade industry in Thailand, as well as dogs from Moscow. “We pioneered the humane relocation idea, which is basically taking animals from places where there are no homes, like in other states or down south, and bringing them here where there are homes and there is a need for pets,” Ronald Martorelli of North Shore Animal League said.
Little Shelter usually reaches out across state lines. “Down south in Texas, Alabama, Florida and the Carolinas they have operating gas chambers. So their form of animal control isn’t necessarily humane euthanasia like we have up here in the northeast,” Ceely said. “We’ve received dogs mostly from Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas, recently.”
The effects of dog overpopulation has a higher impact in different parts of the country. “There are lots of places in regions of the country where there’s a surplus of animals and not enough homes,” Jim Tedford, CEO of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators, said. “Animals are being transported from those areas up to the areas where adoption is in higher demand so they get rides that save their lives.”
Bideawee, an animal rescue and adoption agency with locations in Wantagh and Southampton, is working on their first rescue from Grenada. “Most of our dogs are from high kill shelters in the South: Alabama and Georgia mostly, and Puerto Rico.” CEO Dolores Swirin-Yao said. “There is a lot less spay and neuter education and activism in other parts of the country. But here there is a real demand, so we’re able to take them out of those high kill shelters and offer them to families who are eager to adopt.”
Professionals believe the most effective method to control the overpopulation of dogs is to increase the awareness and education of spaying and neutering. They say that the more people who are educated on the importance of these procedures, the less dogs will be without homes.