MEDIA RELEASE: Dog Meat Survivor Flies to Freedom with Miyoko’s Creamery Founder
San Francisco, Calif. (September 21, 2020) — Miyoko Schinner, the founder and CEO of Miyoko’s Creamery, has stepped up to support In Defense of Animals and its partner Jindo Love Rescue’s efforts to save dogs from the meat trade in South Korea. On Friday, September 18, Schinner escorted rescued dog Koru on a flight from Seoul to San Francisco, where Koru met her adopters for the very first time.
Schinner is on a mission to change people’s perception of animals who are raised and killed for food. Her Sonoma-based dairy-free cheese brand Miyoko’s Creamery supports the rapidly growing plant-based community and has just doubled its output to meet demand. The company is backed by celebrity couple Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and the award-winning products are stocked by stores nationwide including Safeway, Kroger, Walmart, Whole Foods Market, Target, Sprouts, Publix and Trader Joe's. The entrepreneur also has her own sanctuary, Rancho Compasión, to rescue animal victims of the U.S. farming industry.
Schinner was visiting Seoul for a conference and was delighted for the opportunity to team up with In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue to help Koru on her way to her forever family.
“Dogs might not be the first animals who come to mind when we talk about farmed animals, but they are sadly also victims of people’s desire for meat,” said Schinner. “I hope people look at Koru, and come to understand that she’s just like other unique and individual animals who are exploited and killed by the billions in animal agriculture every year. All animals deserve to live and be loved. I am proud to support In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue in their life-saving work to rescue hundreds of dogs from becoming dog meat every year.”
Miyoko Schinner introduces dog meat survivor Koru to her new adopters Jade Naughton (L) and Alexx Ironwolf (R) at San Francisco International Airport.
Credit: In Defense of Animals/Jindo Love Rescue
With an estimated 2.5 million dogs raised and brutally slaughtered for their meat annually in South Korea, change can’t come soon enough. In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue have successfully saved hundreds of dogs and rehomed them in North America since partnering in 2017.
“We couldn’t be happier for Koru, who is so deserving of all the love in the world. We wish her and her new family the best, and are so thrilled that Miyoko volunteered to help us get her home,” said Patti Kim, President of Jindo Love Rescue.
Koru, formerly named Narnia, is about 2-years-old, and was rescued after having puppies on Christmas day in 2018. She was being kept outside on a chain with no shelter, and barely enough room to move or nurse, by a man who was going to sell her puppies to a slaughterhouse. Fortunately, Jindo Love Rescue heard about her plight and rushed to save them all. Her puppies have since been adopted, and now Koru is going to have a home of her own.
“Alexx and I are so excited to have Koru join our family,” said Jade Naughton, who adopted Koru with her partner Alexx Ironwolf. “I am so grateful to my friend who introduced me to Jindo Love Rescue and In Defense of Animals. Everyone involved has been amazing at getting everything arranged for us as smoothly and quickly as possible. Honestly, this has been the best and most wonderful experience I’ve ever had adopting a dog.”
“We are so excited to have Miyoko as our courier as we are both vegan and love her products!” added Naughton.
Adopters Naughton and Ironwolf completed the final 600-mile leg of Koru’s epic journey by driving from San Francisco International Airport to Portland, Oregon with their new family member and one of Koru’s new brothers, a dachshund named Squishy. In total, Koru will have traveled over 6,500 miles to reach her happily ever after.
In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue rely heavily on travelers who volunteer to act as couriers to fly dogs from South Korea to their new homes. Now, however, these efforts are being drastically hampered by a decreased number of travelers, canceled flights and travel restrictions in the wake of COVID-19. Many dogs have been stranded by the pandemic while awaiting flights.
Not only has a lack of travel affected dogs who are waiting to get to their new homes, it’s stifling rescuers’ ability to save more. The only other option, flying them via cargo, was already costly, and the prices were increased at the end of March.
“We are so grateful to Miyoko for making the Koru’s happily ever after come true, and also for raising the profile of flight volunteering for dog meat rescues,” said Fleur Dawes with In Defense of Animals. “Finding flight volunteers is hard enough in regular times, but COVID-19 has made them extra scarce. Without volunteers, we’ve been forced to pay thousands of dollars in cargo fees to get dogs to their loving adopters during the pandemic. These dog meat survivors have been through hell and rescuing them is only possible thanks to our generous supporters. We hope that Miyoko’s freedom flight will inspire others to volunteer or donate to our lifesaving efforts at idausa.org/flyhomeSFO.”
Volunteering to travel with a rescued dog doesn’t involve much more than allocating some extra time before departing and after arriving. Jindo Love Rescue takes care of all the details, costs and paperwork for customs beforehand, and adopters will be waiting when volunteer transporters land.
Passengers taking flights from Seoul to airports in the U.S., including Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA) and Washington, D.C. (Dulles and IAD), are being encouraged to volunteer to fly dogs to their forever homes. Canadian airports include Vancouver (YVR) and Toronto (YYZ).
Interested travelers can learn more about volunteering at: www.idausa.org/flightvolunteer
You can support these lifesaving rescue efforts by making a donation at: www.idausa.org/flyhomeSFO
Alicia Graef, In Defense of Animals, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-578-6894
Fleur Dawes, In Defense of Animals, email@example.com, 415-879-6879
Alison Kilmer, Miyoko’s Creamery, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-632-6859
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In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 37-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats through education, campaigns, and hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org
Jindo Love Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of dogs in South Korea. With the help of our team and volunteers, we rescue as many dogs as we can from terrible conditions in South Korea’s dog meat trade and puppy mills, as well as abandoned dogs. We look for perfect, loving homes to send these dogs to in North America. www.jindoloverescue.org
Miyoko’s Creamery - Miyoko Schinner is the CEO and founder of Miyoko’s Creamery, the leading organic plant dairy food brand that’s cracked the code by combining cheese making traditions with whole food technology to craft world-changing cheese and butter from plant milk, not cows. Today, Miyoko’s products can be found in more than 15,000 retailers nationwide and in Canada, including Target, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market, Kroger and Safeway.
A pioneer in the plant-based cheese revolution, Schinner (AKA The Queen of Vegan Cheese) is a passionate epicurean activist, chef, former restaurateur, best-selling cookbook author, co-host of the national public television cooking show Vegan Mashup, and a founding board member of the Plant Based Foods Association. She also is active in Naturally Bay Area and the Naturally Network community. An animal rights advocate, Schinner co-founded Rancho Compasión, a nonprofit animal sanctuary in California that provides home to over 70 rescued farm animals. https://miyokos.com