Dog Rescued From Dog Meat Truck Is Finally Learning to Trust
In 2019, we undertook an epic rescue with our partner Jindo Love Rescue that saved 28 dogs in South Korea who were on a truck headed to slaughter crammed into crates so tightly they could barely move. Joona, who was especially traumatized by the experience, needed a lot of extra time and attention, but he’s now finally in his forever home.
When Joona arrived at our foster center, he would avoid people and couldn’t even go outside. He would hide behind other dogs, and watch people moving around while trying to stay invisible. He would urinate in fear if he was approached, and didn’t do much better when we moved him to our special training school. There, he didn’t socialize, and would just cower, lay down, and refuse to move.
He was afraid of the leash, but little by little, with the help of other dogs, he finally started walking. It took about six months to get there, but it was a promising step toward his learning to trust. He spent about 18 months at training school working on his fearfulness and became best friends with Wilbur, another dog, who helped him gain confidence.
Even though he’s strikingly handsome, no one seemed to have much interest in him, and we knew he would need someone really special to help him thrive. We also knew he would need to have a mom, because of his continued fearfulness toward men.
Little did we know his perfect person was studying in South Korea, that they would finally meet this summer, and would be on a flight together back to the U.S. this fall.
According to his new guardian, the first few days were hard, but Joona has been settling in really well and opens up more and more every week. He also got a new canine sister, Ollie, and they act like they’ve been best friends forever.
He’s since been enjoying some basic training, going on walks, napping in bed with his sister, chewing on toys, and is warming up more to being touched and getting treats. She also says his personality is really starting to come out, and he “sings” when he wants to go outside, or wants to play.
We’re all thrilled to see how far he’s come, and hope he’ll continue to learn he’s safe forever and find new experiences exciting, not scary.
We’re also grateful to everyone who put in the time and effort to help him get this far and help so many other dogs who don’t adjust as quickly after rescue, and to our supporters who make this work possible.
You can also sign and share our alert calling for an end to the dog meat trade in South Korea.