MEDIA RELEASE: Travelers Wanted: Coronavirus Strands Dog Meat Survivors
San Rafael, CA (March 25, 2020) — In Defense of Animals and South Korean rescue partner Jindo Love Rescue are sending out an appeal to travelers in an effort to help dogs rescued from the dog meat trade who have been stranded in the wake of COVID-19.
With an estimated 2.5 million dogs raised and brutally slaughtered for their meat annually in South Korea, rescuing as many of them as possible is already a daunting feat. Jindo Love Rescue and In Defense of Animals have partnered to successfully save hundreds of dogs and rehome them in the U.S. and Canada since 2017.
Now, however, these efforts are being drastically hampered by a decreased number of travelers, canceled flights and travel bans. The organization relies on travelers who volunteer to bring dogs to North America from South Korea, but now dogs who have adopters waiting for them in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, New York City, Seattle, Washington D.C. and Toronto are stuck without a flight.
Not only is this affecting dogs who are waiting to get to their new homes, it’s stifling rescuers’ ability to save more. Eight dogs are currently waiting to fly to their new homes, and many more are available for adoption.
Before and after rescue. Priscilla is one of many dog meat survivors in need of adoption. CREDIT: In Defense of Animals/Jindo Love Rescue
“This coronavirus outbreak is having a massive effect on our dog meat rescue operations — it has been a nightmare for us and the dogs. Loving forever homes are waiting for dogs in the U.S., but we simply can’t get them there. So many flights have been canceled and many people are too scared to fly,” said Patti Kim, President of Jindo Love Rescue. “We are desperately appealing for anyone who is planning on flying directly to the U.S. or Canada from South Korea to become a flight volunteer and offer a ticket to freedom to a dog meat survivor. If you are not traveling but want to help, please consider making a donation to support the dogs at www.idausa.org/flyhome.”
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. Interested travelers can learn more at www.idausa.org/flightvolunteer.
Freeing up space in the rescue center is a top priority for the nonprofits so they can save more dogs from the dog meat trade. “We have no option but to fly these dogs to freedom as soon as possible,” added Kim.
Loving families are waiting. All these dog meat survivors need is a flight to freedom.
CREDIT: In Defense of Animals/Jindo Love Rescue
Each dog costs $150 to support with food, vaccinations, bedding and specialized care for every month they are delayed due to the lack of flight volunteers. The costs are adding up day by day.
"COVID-19 is devastating for humans but now it's having a huge effect on dogs who have already suffered at the hands of the dog meat trade,” said Fleur Dawes, Communications Director for In Defense of Animals. “Even if you're not traveling from South Korea, you can still make a big difference for these dogs who need urgent help. Please consider sponsoring a stranded dog meat survivor by visiting www.idausa.org/flyhome."
The charities are also urging airlines to use space freed-up by the lack of travelers to ship the dogs.
"We are calling on Air Korea and Asiana Air to make a special emergency arrangement for rescued dogs affected by COVID-19 travel delays. Airlines have more room than ever and we hope they will use it to offer free flights for delayed dog meat survivors," said Dawes.
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.
Interested parties should check www.idausa.org/flightvolunteer for more information on how to become a flight volunteer.
Donations can also be made to support these critical rescue efforts at www.idausa.org/flyhome.
Contact: Fleur Dawes, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-879-6879
Images (free to use with credit to Jindo Love Rescue/In Defense of Animals): https://bit.ly/delayeddogs
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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, puppy mills, as well as abandoned dogs. We look for perfect, loving homes to send these dogs to in the United States of America. www.jindoloverescue.org
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