Two Gentle Giants Saved from the Dog Meat Trade Remind Us What's at Stake
Amid valiant efforts to end South Korea's barbaric dog meat trade, our rescuers are sometimes blessed with the opportunity to help save dogs like Shiba and Eva. After a months-long international effort to rescue them, these two are finally home in the United States, and having changed the lives of their new families, they're a reminder of just how precious each of their individual lives are.
It's tragically estimated that around 2.5 million dogs are raised and slaughtered for their meat every year in South Korea, which is the only country that still allows intensive farming of dogs for human consumption.
While the numbers are as upsetting as they are overwhelming, In Defense of Animals and our partner Jindo Love Rescue are working to shut this cruel industry down and save those we can in the process.
Now, we're celebrating an amazing outcome for these two big—and seriously fluffy—Alaskan Malamutes who just narrowly escaped being heartlessly slaughtered for their meat.
Shiba and Eva were being kept outside in a cage with nothing but a dirty doghouse for shelter by a man who wanted to sell them to a dog meat farm. Thankfully his compassionate son, who had named them, reached out to get them help.
Their plight reached the ears of a wonderful foster mom for Jindo Love Rescue who coordinates rescues, and their fate was forever changed.
Shiba and Eva were assessed by In Defense of Animals in South Korea before their big journey to freedom.
Instead of being ruthlessly butchered on a meat farm, Shiba and Eva were saved by our Korean rescue partners, Jindo Love Rescue, and finally got the care they desperately needed. They were bathed, and freed from filthy matted coats, and began getting socialized and learning manners in a special training school to prepare them for their new lives as members of a family.
A carer removes matted fur from Eva in South Korea.
Despite their pasts, these two gentle giants, who are estimated to be about 5-years-old, had nothing but love for people and other dogs from the start.
Thanks to generous donations from our caring supporters, Shiba and Eva were able to embark on an epic journey from Seoul to Seattle, Washington, where they were fostered by Genny and Tyler Breon.
Their foster parents worked on getting them up to a healthier weight, and hired a trainer to help them learn some basic commands.
"They are very special pups, and they never let their past change them. From the moment we saw them for the very first time, all they had to give was love and tons of kisses,” said Genny, who added that they were “perfect the whole time."
Shiba and Eva settling into life at their foster home in Seattle.
Unbeknownst to Shiba and Eva, they would soon have their very own forever families who would adore and spoil them to pieces.
Shiba, who goes by Max these days, was adopted by Kimberly Medicus and Snake Johns, and now lives with them, their Chocolate Lab and three cats.
Shiba, now known as Max, with his new sister.
"I'm continually amazed by how genuinely happy he is and how resilient. It shocks me that he can be so happy and trusting, given where he's come from," said Medicus. "I don't think I could love this dog any more if I tried."
She added that Max is, "Arguably one of the best dogs I've ever had the pleasure of having in my family."
Max, who now loves the woods, enjoying the great outdoors.
Eva was adopted by Diane Byun and Lucas Jaramillo, and got two brothers—a rescued Siberian Husky and a Shiba Inu. She now spends her days getting loved, and going to the beach and dog park. She also gets a spa day at the groomer's once a month and still goes back to visit her foster parents.
Eva at the beach.
Byun says Eva's the best dog ever, and while she acknowledges that everyone feels that way about their dogs, she added, "Eva's literally that special."
Eva getting all the love and attention she deserves.
"She's hands down the sweetest most perfect dog I've ever had the pleasure of having. But she's also sassy and always makes me laugh on the daily," said Byun.
Byun added that despite her background, Eva's also amazing with people and animals, and has a soft spot for babies and puppies, whom she seems to want to protect.
Both have some health issues as a result of years of neglect, but their new families are doing everything they can to keep them healthy and happy.
Thank you so much for helping get these giant dogs their ticket to freedom. Seeing them in these lives now makes it almost unfathomable to think they almost ended up on someone's plate as a meal.
But while things couldn't possibly have turned out any better for this duo, hundreds of other dogs are waiting to be saved. You can help In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue shut down the dog meat industry and save more precious lives by making a donation today.